AUBURN, Ala. — Much like Big Cat Weekend, Auburn didn’t end Saturday with any public commitments, but the general sentiment was that it was a successful event.
The Tigers hosted some of their top uncommitted targets, as well as a few players committed to Auburn and other schools. Check out the running live updates from the entire day.
SEC Country spoke with a few of the Tigers’ top targets in the 2018 and 2019 classes who attended the event. Here’s the latest intel.
4-star RB Dameon Pierce, Bainbridge (Ga.)
- This was Dameon Pierce’s second visit to Auburn, both coming after his de-commitment from Alabama.
- He visited with his mother, who he said hasn’t taken a visit outside the state of Georgia. She loved it, and he said that will help Auburn big-time.
- As for that decision, it won’t come until after the season and could run up to National Signing Day.
- Pierce has Auburn, Georgia and Florida in his top group. LSU could work its way in there, too, after he visits Baton Rouge. Those are the four schools likely to get official visits, which he will take after the season.
- He already plans to make it to Auburn for the Iron Bowl, but it’s possible that isn’t his only visit.
- What separates the Tigers? “As soon as you walk in, you’ve got someone greeting you at the car basically. You can’t beat that. It feels like you’re already at home. It’s a home away from home.”
4-star DE Caleb Tannor, Miller Grove (Ga.)
- Caleb Tannor will announce his decision Monday on Twitter. It’s down to Georgia and Auburn.
- Before he makes that choice, he will spend the night in Auburn along with fellow Tigers target Michael Harris, who he is close with.
- Tannor made this visit with his mother, his two brothers and his younger sister.
- Georgia projects Tannor as an outside linebacker similar to Lorenzo Carter. Auburn sees him as a Buck edge rusher.
- A big portion of his visit involved talking with Auburn coaches about how they expect to use him.
- How close is the race? “Great facilities, great coaches. It’s a real good connection. It feels just like Georgia, and that’s what’s making that race so close. Great coaching. Both of them are providing the same things for me, so we’re just gonna have to see.”
- He said he doesn’t know his choice yet. He’ll go to church Sunday and hope to get a better idea.
- Regardless, Tannor said he’ll likely visit both programs this fall.
3-star CB Derek Turner, West Feliciana (La.)
- Derek Turner shined at Auburn’s camp on Friday and stayed overnight for the early portion of the cookout Saturday.
- Auburn projects Turner as a cornerback rather than a safety, as he’s listed by several sites. He likely will fit into the star position with his tremendous speed and hard hitting.
- Turner said Auburn is his top school with Ole Miss and South Carolina chasing.
- Greg Brown began recruiting Turner immediately after he took the job, and Turner said the offer from Brown was his first. That means a lot to him.
- Expect a decision by the end of July or in early August.
4-star LB Quay Walker, Crisp County (Ga.)
- The Alabama commit didn’t want to do interviews, but he let everyone take a photo of him, which was interesting. Why? He was decked out in full Auburn gear. Not often an Alabama commit allows a bunch of reporters to snag a photo in full attire of the in-state rival.
- He’s taken visits to Auburn and Georgia in the last week. He will visit again in the fall for games, so this is definitely worth watching.
4-star 2019 OLB King Mwikuta, Troup Co. (Ga.)
- One of the nation’s top 2019 prospects still has Alabama on top, but said Auburn is in a group of three or four other schools who have a real chance to pass the Crimson Tide.
- What would Auburn have to do? The 2017 season will be one of the most persuasive factors. He likes the Tigers a lot. Now he wants to see what he loves about Auburn translate to some wins. He doesn’t need a championship season, just a sign of positivity.
- He plans to come to multiple home games this fall, even saying he’d make it to all the home games, if possible.
- Mwikuta says he’s “close” to a decision, but our definitions of close are slightly different. He says it could come as early as December when he sees some 2017 progress, but his decision could run until “this time next year.”
- The two main reasons he likes Auburn: Rodney Garner and the players he knows on the team.
3-star DE Daquan Newkirk, Mississippi Gulf Coast*
- Daquan Newkirk wasn’t planning on visit, but he said a triple-text from Garner showed him the coaching staff really wanted him on campus again, so he obliged. He said he’ll be a regular on campus this fall and will make it to as many games as possible.
- As for his official visit, that likely will take place for the Iron Bowl.
- Newkirk is up to about 295 pounds, but Garner wants him to cut some of that weight. He’s working to get down to 280 pounds, which probably makes him more of a defensive end, though it could be at tackle.
- Georgia is still recruiting him, and he could take a visit there, but he’s all Auburn.
4-star WR Seth Williams, Paul W. Bryant (Ala.)
- Seth Williams said his visit to Auburn — an overnight stay — was his first recruiting visit of the summer, but he has plans to make others before the season begins, though he declined to say where.
- Auburn will receive an official visit, likely for a game.
- Williams said his relationship with Kodi Burns is one of Auburn’s biggest selling points. Burns has told him how badly Auburn wants a tall, physical receiver, which is exactly what Williams brings.
- He said Auburn, Ole Miss and Alabama are the three schools recruiting him the hardest.
- What keeps bringing him back to Auburn? “Probably just how the coaches, they’re real. They’re not going to hide anything from you. They’re family. Every time I come here, it feels like family. You just can’t get past that.”
3-star DB Jamien Sherwood, Jensen Beach (Fla.)
- Jamien Sherwood was on commit watch, but that didn’t happen. Still, Auburn seems to be in excellent position.
- He said Auburn is “at the top” and mentioned the Tigers in a group with Florida, Miami, Michigan and Oregon.
- His mom really liked Auburn for Big Cat Weekend. This time, he said she became sold on the Tigers when they showed a video “about manhood or something like that,” Sherwood said with a little bit of an eye-roll. In other words, Auburn is where Sherwood’s mom would like him to go.
- He was going to take visits to Oregon and Michigan, but that’s not going to happen anymore.
- Sherwood will make his decision by the beginning of August, so this one won’t last much longer.
- If Auburn, why? “Auburn is really genuine with it. It’s not just an act. They actually are who they are. Even when they’re texting, and we talk on the phone, I can still feel the same amount of energy I do in person. That’s what I feel when I come here.”
That’s all for now.
Don’t fret about the lack of public commitments. Auburn is in great position for several of its top targets, and the athletic complex has had a buzz about it the last couple of days.
Andres Fox hasn’t left yet, so there could be some details to add about the 3-star defensive end. Asa Martin didn’t speak with reporters, but you can check out the latest on him from earlier in the week.
The big target to watch going forward: Michael Harris. He’s staying overnight and won’t talk to reporters until Sunday. Auburn has supreme confidence on this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement in the near future.