Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we talk to in-state cornerback JaKorey Hawkins, who hasn’t heard much from Auburn since his spring offer. Also, Juanyeh Thomas thinks he has a decision date in mind.
Montgomery CB needs to hear more from Auburn
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Among the top 30 prospects in the state of Alabama, there are only two true cornerbacks.
Jalyn Armour-Davis is one. He’s the No. 3 prospect in the state and recently committed to Alabama, despite being one of Auburn’s top targets. The other is JaKorey Hawkins, ranked at No. 30 overall. The Lee, Ala., prospect received an offer from Auburn this spring.
When he received that offer, he said, he felt as if his communication with Auburn would pick up dramatically. That hasn’t exactly been the case.
“They said they’ve been watching me for years. They kept tracking me to see my improvement, and they liked what they saw. That’s why they said they offered me,” Hawkins said. “But they definitely need to communicate with me more if they actually want me. It’s been awhile. They aren’t really talking with me.”
Meanwhile, Penn State, Ole Miss and Missouri communicated daily during the contact period with the 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback. Ole Miss and Penn State have made it a point to reach out to Hawkins’ family, something he suggests Missouri does, as well.
But that doesn’t mean Auburn is out of the picture. The Tigers just can’t wait much longer if they still have interest in Hawkins.
“If they were to show love, then I’d definitely show love back, but they’re just not showing it right now,” Hawkins said. “It would probably bump them up to my top schools.”
Here are the highlights Hawkins sees from each of the three programs high on his list:
- Ole Miss: He is close with defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff and defensive backs coach Jason Jones. This staff communicates with him the most, as well as with his parents. Unlike the other two schools involved, he has visited Ole Miss.
- Missouri: Hawkins is close friends with Missouri quarterback commit James Foster. The Tigers are recruiting the Montgomery area well, and Hawkins has been a part of that. He wants to see the Missouri staff reach out more to his family, however.
- Penn State: Like Ole Miss, the Nittany Lions have been in contact with Hawkins’ parents, which helps. He will decide soon whether to take a visit on July 18-20 to Missouri or Penn State. He’s likely only to go to one of those schools.
With that said, Auburn has a legitimate chance if the Tigers decide to push.
Hawkins said he hopes to make a decision by August so he can focus on his senior football season. It’s not out of the question for him to wait, especially if the Tigers rev up their communication, but he’d rather that contact take place sooner rather than later.
“It can go both ways. Sometimes I want to experience the world,” Hawkins said. “But sometimes I want to do it for the state.”
Auburn DB target sets tentative decision date
Juanyeh Thomas has hinted at an approaching decision for a while. He told SEC Country on Wednesday of slightly more concrete plans.
“It’ll be early August, most likely August 5th,” Thomas said.
The 3-star defensive back from Niceville (Fla.) has been a regular at Auburn since he received his offer. Thomas said he’s visited the Plains four times, including twice in the last two months. He doesn’t expect to make any more visits to Auburn before his decision, but that isn’t a bad thing. The Tigers have proved everything they can to him.
He visited Florida two weeks ago on his way back from a passing camp, but it wasn’t a long stay.
As for Georgia Tech, the third member of his top 3, Thomas said he hopes to make it back to Atlanta sometime this month for one final visit with the Yellow Jackets before making a decision.
My Crystal Ball prediction stays with Auburn. If Aug. 5 ends up being final, I expect the Tigers to land a defensive back that day.