Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we do a lookahead to Auburn’s Big Cat recruiting weekend with a few confirmed visitors. Auburn also sent out an offer to the No. 4 inside linebacker in the country.
Early look at Big Cat Weekend
It’s a little early to look at this, but Auburn is only a few weeks away from its biggest recruiting event of the year: Big Cat Weekend.
On June 3, the Tigers will host its usual star-studded summer lineup, as it attempts to get its 2018 recruiting class in full swing. The 2017 gained some momentum following the weekend last year when the Tigers went on a commit binge with many of its eventual class members.
The way this recruiting class is shaking out, it appears Big Cat Weekend will once again key Auburn’s recruiting success throughout the rest of the summer. Auburn’s list will likely grow in the coming weeks as a couple “RSVP maybes” change their weekend decision to “yes.”
For now, take at eight prospects who have already confirmed they’ll be on campus that weekend.
5-star WR Justyn Ross, Central (Ala.): Ross has been to Clemson and Alabama and recent weeks, which put a few obstacles in Auburn’s way after the 5-star local wide receiver became a regular at Auburn throughout the months of February and March. Ross’ decision is still a long ways away, but getting him on campus for Big Cat Weekend will be pivotal for future recruiting successes.
4-star RB Asa Martin, Austin (Ala.): Martin is quickly becoming the priority of the class. The Tigers hosted Martin over the weekend, and he says he’ll be back at the start of next month for the June 3 recruiting weekend. The top running back in the state of Alabama was one of the forefronts of the Tigers’ recruiting efforts on A-Day — along with Ross — so Big Cat Weekend will share a similar trend.
4-star CB Kyler McMichael, Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.): Here’s another recent visitor who appears to be way more interested in Auburn than previously believed. McMichael hasn’t explicitly narrowed down his top options, but his decision to visit the Plains twice in as many months means the Tigers are deeply in play for this state of Georgia defensive back.
4-star DT Coynis Miller, Jackson-Olin (Ala.): No surprise here, but Miller will be on campus for one of the Tigers’ big recruiting weekends. Miller has been a regular at Auburn — junior days, spring practices, his own spring break — so it’s pretty typical for the big defensive tackle from Birmingham to be on campus for a big weekend, and it’ll happen shortly after his high school teammate Tadarian Moultry enrolls at Auburn. A little editorializing: I think there are way more teams in play with Miller than people think. The Crimson Tide and the Tigers are certainly major factors, but don’t rule out out-of-state programs like Florida, LSU or even Oregon as serious contenders.
4-star safety Quindarious Monday, Carver (Ga.): Monday has long called Auburn his favorite, and while he doesn’t seem committed to finalizing a decision on Big Cat Weekend, that event will go a long way to securing the safety target. His spring football season ends on Friday, and this is a recruitment that could certainly pick up steam and come to an end in the near future.
3-star safety Joseph Foucha, McDonogh 35 (La.): After making his first visit at the beginning of May, Foucha is determined to return to a school that he considers a “special one.” Auburn is recruiting Foucha harder than any other program, he said, though Foucha claims his decision will run all the way to National Signing Day in February. Still, two visits in such a short span from a Louisiana prospect is a strong sign.
3-star WR Shedrick Jackson, Hoover (Ala.): Jackson has publicly downplayed his Auburn ties during the early stages of his recruitment, as he also gauges interest from other Power 5 programs. He was in town twice in two weeks — once for Bo Bikes Bama with his uncle Bo Jackson — and plans to be back for Big Cat Weekend. The Tigers are in good shape, but Jackson insists he’s not in a rush.
3-star OLB Richard Jibunor, Athens Christian (Ga.): Jibunor tried to make a few trips to Auburn throughout the spring, but it wasn’t very successful with his schedule. The versatile defender will make many recruiting visits throughout the summer, and Auburn’s Big Cat Weekend will be a focal point of that.
An interesting new 2018 offer
Auburn has its eyes on several top linebackers: J.J. Peterson, Quay Walker, Michael Harris, Channing Tindall, Zakoby McClain and others.
Add another primetime name to the list.
Dax Hollifield from Shelby (N.C.) is the No. 106 overall player in the nation, per the 247Sports composite. He received an Auburn offer on Monday, which became his 20th offer so far. The Army All-American received early interest from North Carolina, Virginia Tech and South Carolina, so that is where a bulk of his visits have gone so far.
— Dax Hollifield (@ChiefDax_25) May 16, 2017
He also is fresh off an unofficial visit to Stanford — and has gone to Florida State — so the No. 4 inside linebacker’s eyes are drifting to multiple parts of the country.
It’s been previously reported that a few linebacker targets have said Auburn expects to take two at the position in this class, which fits in line with what Travis Williams joked about during assistant coach media day about trying to convince Gus Malzahn and Kevin Steele to let him get as many as possible.
For the right three (or more?) in this loaded class, I don’t think Auburn would hesitate taking more than that pre-allotted two.
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