Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Thursday, and SEC Country is spinning ahead with a look at the potential defensive prospects in Auburn’s 2019 recruiting class.
Auburn’s 2018 class has some stout names on defense. The Tigers hope for a similar result in the 2019 cycle.
It’s somewhat still in too-early range for 2019 projections, but let’s look at who Auburn is in the game for. Check out SEC Country’s thoughts on the five players most likely to join Auburn’s defense in the 2019 cycle.
3-star CB Jalen Alexander, Grayson (Ga.)
Jalen Alexander has been the most regular visitor to Auburn this season. That includes 2018 recruits. That includes commits. He’s been on the Plains for three of the four homes games this season, and that should give you an indication of how he feels.
If that’s not enough, take Alexander’s words into account.
“I could say Auburn is the leader right now, but I am still exploring my options,” Alexander said. “I like how the coaches really treat their players like family. I like how they push them real hard.”
Alexander is probably the most likely person of all the prospects — offense or defense — to join the Tigers class. He’ll keep coming back to Auburn, and eventually, I expect him to commit.
He’s ranked the No. 47 cornerback in the class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
4-star ILB Ja’Len Sims, Fultondale (Ala.)
Ja’Len Sims is one of the few 2019 prospects that I’ve already logged a Crystal Ball prediction for. I made that pick to Auburn in June shortly after Sims camped with the Tigers.
Sims has been on the Tigers’ radar for a while. When he camped over the summer, he received a lot of special attention from Travis Williams and Kevin Steele. That was the first sign the Tigers were probably the team to beat.
He’s also been at Auburn already in the 2017 season.
Sims attended the Auburn-Ole Miss game and spent some extra time with Auburn coaches. So far, Auburn is his only primary offer, so it’s easy to pick the Tigers. But even when others jump on board — and they inevitably will — I expect Auburn to be tough to top.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker is ranked No. 8 nationally at his position.
4-star ATH Jammie Robinson, Crisp County (Ga.)
Auburn already has landed one 4-star prospect out of Crisp County in Markaviest Bryant. The Tigers hope to add a second later this year by flipping 4-star linebacker Quay Walker from Alabama.
If that happens, it’s quite possible for the third time to also be the charm.
Jammie Robinson is one of the most impressive athletes in the 2019 recruiting class. He’s ranked the No. 334 player in the country, but when rankings are reshuffled, he’s someone that could see a nice rise up the charts.
In the past, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson and Florida State have seemed like more likely landing spots. But that hasn’t stopped Robinson from being a regular visitor on the Plains. Robinson has a strong relationship with multiple members of the Auburn coaching staff.
But if Auburn pulls off the Walker flip, that would put two of Robinson’s closest high school friends on the Plains. With that, I think he’d join them.
4-star S Keontra Smith, Chaminade-Madonna (Fla.)
This might seem like a weird addition considering Keontra Smith is already committed to Kentucky. That decision kind of came out of nowhere when he committed in June. It’s possible Smith rides with his Big Blue decision, but I expect a player of his caliber to end up being recruited by all the top programs across the Southeast.
Auburn will be one of them.
The reason why I like the Tigers’ chances: Shaun Shivers.
Shivers is a running back commit in the 2018 class, but he’s high school teammates with Smith, who will be a major 2019 target. Shivers is one of the best recruiters among players in his own class. I can only imagine how persuasive he’d be with Smith.
Some of this is dependent on Auburn’s push for Smith, but the Tigers already have offered.
4-star CB KJ Wallace, Lovett School (Ga.)
KJ Wallace is familiar with Auburn.
He’s visited for games. He’s visited for the school’s junior day in March.
With that said, Auburn won’t be the only team pushing. Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Wisconsin and South Carolina already have offered, but Auburn got out ahead on this one and made Wallace a priority.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of push the Alabamas, Georgias and Florida States of the world make, but Auburn already finds itself in a safe position with Wallace.
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