Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we lay out the decision timeline for the highest-ranked defensive player in the state. We also talk about the top list of schools for a key Auburn legacy and a defensive back from LSU’s backyard.
State’s top defender has imminent decision
In a dramatic turn of events, Jalyn Armour-Davis has pushed his commitment timetable way up.
As first reported by 247Sports and confirmed by SEC Country, Armour-Davis has decided to announce his college decision with a single tweet on Friday at 12:30 p.m. Armour-Davis told SEC Country earlier in the month that he thought his decision timeframe ranged from middle of the summer to middle of the football season.
That plan has clearly changed. He’ll announce his decision between Auburn, Florida State and Alabama — his final three.
What also may have changed are Armour-Davis’ feelings about his decision. For a while, these notebooks have had one common message regarding the state of Alabama’s top cornerback: It’s an FSU-Auburn battle that Alabama has a legitimate shot of working its way into.
Armour-Davis confirmed at his state track meet that the Crimson Tide had, in fact, made a major move in his recruitment. Alabama wasn’t in Armour-Davis’ top 6, but — as he trimmed his list even further — Alabama became more and more of a factor, thanks to the recruiting efforts of his primary recruiter Jeremy Pruitt, the Crimson Tide defensive coordinator.
Here’s what Armour-Davis had to say about Alabama’s re-entrance to his top list of schools at the time.
“They just wondered where I went wrong, and I wouldn’t say there was anything they did wrong. It was just a way I was feeling. I think, from a more mature standpoint, it would just be a 10 times better decision for them to be in it,” Armour-Davis said on Alabama not originally being in his top 6. “I was more excited in the moment and wanted to push something out. I just took a step back to look at all my schools and everything outside of football.”
There’s also Auburn and Florida State, the two programs most closely tied to Armour-Davis is recent months.
Both of those programs have been cautiously optimistic regarding Armour-Davis for a while now, and Armour-Davis has shown them both major love to feel that way. Until this week, most Armour-Davis predictions would’ve gone to either one of those two programs, and both schools will be in the thick of things when the nation’s No. 15 cornerback announces just prior to the weekend.
But there is a growing trend in the recruiting world that might not settle well with the Auburn fan base. Multiple recruiting reporters, myself included, have forecasted Crystal Ball predictions in Alabama’s favor on this one, and that’s the way I see it going when Armour-Davis chooses on Friday.
Let’s make something else abundantly clear, however: This doesn’t mark the end of Armour-Davis’ recruitment.
All three schools, and maybe even others, will continue to recruit him the same way they have for years. When it comes time to take official visits, you can expect to see Armour-Davis take those. When home visits roll around, all three coaching staffs will make their presence felt. As Armour-Davis even admitted to 247Sports, he knows the “pressure” will pick back up after his football season when he has to reassess these options in a much more personalized and intense form.
Worth noting, student-athletes can’t graduate early from St. Paul’s Episcopal (Ala.) in Mobile, so Armour-Davis’ recruitment will run all the way up until the original National Signing Day in February that we’ve all grown to know and love.
Keep it in the family
Auburn preaches family to recruits, even the ones with no real familial ties to the university. When Auburn screams family to Shedrick Jackson, it’s a little more authentic.
Well-documented, Jackson is the nephew of Auburn legend Bo Jackson. The younger Jackson is a standout wide receiver for Hoover (Ala.) who released his top-5 list of schools on Wednesday afternoon, which included the Tigers.
The full list includes: Auburn, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Mississippi State and Memphis.
Thank you to al the coaches that recruited me and I'm grateful for the oppurtunities I have been given! pic.twitter.com/ErFnp6XfwI
— Shedrick Jackson (@shedrickj85) May 24, 2017
Jackson has downplayed some of the outside world’s guarantees that he will inevitably land at Auburn.
“People think that if I got an Auburn offer, which I have, that it’s 100 percent that I’m going there. In my mind, that’s not really what I’m thinking,” Jackson told SEC Country last month. “I’m picking the school that has the most to offer for me and my future.”
Still, it seems far-fetched for the Tigers to miss out on someone who grew up an Auburn fan, grew up attending Tigers’ games regularly and grew up knowing that his uncle was arguably the most famous and successful person to ever step foot on the Plains as a student-athlete. Jackson’s decision remains a summer or so away, but his name will likely surface throughout as a momentum-able (yes, just made up a word) commitment possibility.
For now, if there is a non-Auburn team to watch here for Jackson, my gut tells me Georgia Tech. He’s visited recently and said the academic element there has him thinking a lot about the Yellow Jackets.
A little more than a top 5
I’m not a huge fan of writing about top lists, but in the recruiting game, it’s obviously something that has to be done. I’m particularly not high on doing top 10s or top 15s because — as has been proven with Armour-Davis’ top 6 — it’s quite the fickle list.
But I wanted to highlight Auburn safety target Joseph Foucha’s recent top-15 release for two reasons.
- He’s one of Greg Brown’s top DB targets in the class.
- He does something quite out of the ordinary in his video list.
Check out the video here that shows Foucha’s continued interest in Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan, Oregon, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Oregon State, Arizona State, Florida State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, TCU, Kansas and Texas-San Antonio.
Gotta be in a rush I can't be running outta time……🔥 TOP 15🚨🚨🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/vLodhevoqZ
— JSF7️⃣ (@joe_foucha) May 25, 2017
As for the schools, Auburn, Alabama and TCU are the teams to watch for now. The Tigers are certainly in good shape as Greg Brown has taken extra efforts to show Foucha early love.
But I also show the video for, to me, the funny moment — probably not funny to Foucha at the time — at the 1:48 mark when he, well, pukes from the workout in the rest of the video. It’s not something you ordinarily, or ever, see from a recruit in a top list video or commitment video, so I thought it was worth sharing.
I poked a little fun at Foucha for that addition to the video.
His hard-working response via text: “I get it in. Every day is a game for me” with a crying laughing emoji.