Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we sat down 1-on-1 with Auburn offensive line commit Jalil Irvin to talk about his spring.
Auburn OL commit talks Tigers
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Check out a Stephenson (Ga.) practice and you’ll find college coaches from all over the place.
Stephenson is known for producing multiple Division I prospects every year. Auburn reaped the benefits of the Jaguars’ talent-rich tradition last recruiting cycle when the Tigers landed underrated safety Carlito Gonzalez. Auburn, once again, found a Stephenson connection in 2018 with 4-star offensive line commit Jalil Irvin.
Irvin isn’t the only gifted player at Stephenson, but he’s a big reason why the high school’s practices are filled with college scouts.
Ohio State, Minnesota, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida and Mississippi State are just a few of the programs that stopped by the Stone Mountain, Ga., school to check out Irvin during the evaluation period.
Don’t worry, Auburn.
“I’m just being cordial with them,” Irvin told SEC Country. “They know. I’m really all Auburn. I’m really focusing on them. But I’m just talking to them because you never know what could happen with a coaching staff or something like that. I’m just being cordial and respectful.”
Irvin’s primary focus this spring has been fine-tuning the little things — his footwork, his punch, his stance. Those are all topics Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand has brought up in his conversations with Irvin since the offensive lineman committed earlier in the year. As Irvin has worked on those specific skill sets, he’s started to get a better idea of where he projects at the next level.
He’s listed as the No. 16 offensive guard in the nation (per 247Sports composite rankings), and guard is where virtually all programs have recruited him.
Irvin is fine with that, but he actually thinks — with some extra work — he fits better elsewhere on the offensive line.
“I’ve been recruited at guard, but I actually think I’d be better as a center. Once I get down there with Coach Hand, I feel like he’ll be able to maximize what I can do there. You know, I’m a little bit undersized. I feel like I have a little bit of dog in me,” Irvin said. “If I go to center, I think I’ll be perfectly fine.”
Aside from that, Irvin’s main focus has been recruiting other prospects to Auburn.
He’s mentioned Dylan Wonnum in the past as an offensive lineman he’d really like to join him on the Plains. Richard Jibunor said last week that a tag team of Joey Gatewood, Shaun Shivers and Irvin has made him feel especially wanted at Auburn. So, Irvin is doing his part as a recruiter.
He has a relatively standard answer, with a more personalized story, for why fellow recruits should choose the Tigers.
“I say family environment. Family environment because coach [Gus] Malzahn, the first time I met him, his wife was in there. I still remember to this day, they were playing Arkansas. I was talking to my mom and his wife. I’ve been to a lot of colleges, and nobody really does that,” Irvin said. “It’s a real family. A lot of colleges talk about it, but they’re a real family environment.”
A few updates on Justin Fields
SEC Country and DawgNation have done a 5-star job over the last week reporting on dual-threat quarterback Justin Fields.
Auburn entered the Fields sweepstakes a few weeks ago when the Tigers opted to take two quarterbacks in the 2018 class, starting with an offer to the 5-star quarterback. He’s currently committed to Penn State, but multiple programs from the SEC sphere figure to be in as good of position as the Nittany Lions for Fields’ services.
Alabama writer Chris Kirschner and Georgia writer Jeff Sentell attended Fields’ spring game last week, which resulted in a few pieces of strong content/updates on Fields.
Check those out here:
- Watch Justin Fields’ spring game highlights
- Chance of UGA, others to flip Fields
- Fields updates relationship with Penn State
- Fields and his father discuss Florida interest
That’s a lot of non-Auburn material. Most of that has to do with the fact his relationship with the Tigers is a relatively newfound one. All those other programs handed out offers to Fields well before Auburn did, so the Tigers will have to play catch-up.
It’s certainly not out of the question.
Fields plays for the Cam Newton 7-on-7 team, which usually piques the curiosity of Auburn faithful.
Miss an edition? Find the previous SEC Country Auburn Tigers recruiting notebooks right here.