Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. These notebooks will now publish in the evening Sunday through Thursday. It’s Thursday, and SEC Country catches up with an Auburn defensive tackle target who received high praise from coaches.
In-state DT draws Derrick Brown comparison
In most Iron Bowl recruiting battles, the prospect generally has some form of allegiance to either Alabama or Auburn. Both sides have learned that those allegiances — typically based on childhood fandom — don’t dictate the college decisions those prospects make. Those choices are about business, it’s often said.
As for DJ Dale, well, he brings a different perspective to the recruiting rivalry, which he’ll become a centerpiece of in the coming months.
“When I was younger, I actually grew up a Texas fan because of Vince Young,” Dale said, laughing. “That isn’t going to be a factor in my decision.
Alabama and Auburn will both be factors in Dale’s college decision.
The Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) defensive tackle holds offers from the Crimson Tide and Tigers. Both programs offered him in mid-January. Dale also picked up spring offers from Florida State, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Louisville. So this isn’t exclusively an Auburn-Alabama battle. But, as is the case most of the time (unless you’re Justyn Ross), one of the in-state schools tends to win that battle when they actively pursue a prospect.
Auburn tried to get ahead of the curve with Dale by hosting him on a visit in February.
Dale is listed at 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds on his Hudl page, as well as some recruiting service profiles. That shows the progress Dale made physically over the course of his junior season and in the last few months. Dale told SEC Country he weighed in at 320 pounds at Auburn junior day.
That drew a specific complimentary comparison from Auburn coaches.
“Coach Garner said I reminded him of Derrick Brown,” Dale said. “He really likes my film and stuff. He said I remind him of players he has now. He thinks I have a chance to play early.”
That’s high praise, but the strength is there.
Those interactions with Garner and other members of the coaching staff helped Dale recognize all the positives the Tigers bring. He doesn’t have any top schools yet. That’ll come via a top-5 list in March, he said.
The Tigers are likely to crack that group.
“I like how much coaches like to get involved off the field, make you become a better man, things like that,” Dale said. “It meant a lot. It’s a great university. … Right now, they’re in the conversation.”
Taking a look at recent Auburn offers
Auburn sent out two 2019 offers in the last 48 hours worth mentioning.
- 4-star RB Deondrick Glass, Katy, Texas
- 4-star DE Brandon Smith, Mineral, Va.
Glass wasn’t included in my 2019 running back primer Tuesday because he hadn’t been offered yet. Now that he has, he’ll come to the forefront of the running back conversation for this class. Auburn dipped into Texas to find its feature running back. Glass is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 16 running back in the class. He’s the No. 196 overall prospect. Glass also holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and others.
Smith is the newest defensive line offer for the Tigers. With offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Florida and others already in hand, Smith picked up his most recent offer from Auburn courtesy of linebackers coach Travis Williams. Smith will be one of the highest-rated recruits Auburn goes after in 2019. He’s the No. 4 weakside defensive end in the nation and the 36th-ranked overall prospect nationally.
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