Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, set the stage for a Tuesday decision from Jamien Sherwood. Also, check out the tidbits on commits Michael Harris and Shaun Shivers.
Top safety target to announce decision
Decision day has arrived for top Auburn safety target Jamien Sherwood.
The 3-star defensive back from Jensen Beach, Fla., will finalize his college decision at noon ET on Tuesday. His decision will come down to four schools — Auburn, Florida, Michigan and Oregon. Sherwood has visited Auburn and Florida three times each, though he said after the Tigers’ cookout that he could visit Florida again this week with his brother (somewhat dependent on his announcement timeline).
The dark horse candidates are Oregon and Michigan. Sherwood told SEC Country one of his strongest relationships is with the Oregon staff. Also, he visited Ann Arbor on his own dime and has contemplated a follow-up trip, as well.
Here is what Sherwood had to say about his four finalists.
- Auburn: “The people. It’s the people in town. Not just the fans, but people on campus, how good they are to random strangers. Everybody waves.”
- Florida: “Florida has always been one of my top schools, and I’ve visited there more than anywhere else.”
- Oregon: “With Oregon, me and Coach [Charles] Clark — the corner coach — we’ve got a great relationship. I just love Oregon.”
- Michigan: “Michigan, Coach Don [Brown] has a great defensive scheme for me and the position he’s recruiting me for. I really like his defense a lot.
Sherwood’s decision comes two days after he left his third Auburn visit in three months. Because of the timing, the common sense pick is for Sherwood to the Tigers, which is what my Crystal Ball prediction has been for the last 10 days, and that’s where it will stay.
Florida is the biggest threat since he has visited regularly, plus the Gators have the in-state pull. Michigan has been able to get Sherwood on campus, and the Wolverines intrigue Sherwood. He’s talked in the past about the possibility of getting to Ann Arbor for another visit, though his Tuesday decision might alter some of those plans. As for Oregon, Sherwood has yet to visit the Ducks, but — as has been the case with many prospects — there is a south Florida connection between prospects and the new Oregon staff that can’t be overlooked.
Whoever gets Sherwood is landing one of the most versatile prospects in the country. Auburn wants him to fill out the Tigers’ safety class alongside Kolbi Fuqua and Quindarious Monday.
My thoughts on Michael Harris
With Sherwood’s announcement pending, Auburn could have back-to-back monster days of recruiting.
The Tigers landed a commitment Monday from 4-star linebacker Michael Harris from Tucker (Ga.). LB coach Travis Williams deserves such high praise for his ability to reel in Harris who grew up an Ohio State fan and visited the Buckeyes in June. In the end, Ohio State had too many linebacker targets for the spots available, and Harris ended up as the odd-man out.
Don’t expect Harris to forget that.
This is a guy who plays with an intensity level and charisma akin to what Auburn fans will remember of Williams’ playing days. Williams prioritized Harris — the No. 11-ranked LB in the nation — as one of Auburn’s top linebacker targets since the beginning of the recruiting cycle. The Tigers knew they just needed to weather the Buckeyes storm.
That happened, which resulted in Auburn scoring a sideline-to-sideline linebacker.
So far, Williams has had four linebackers commit to the Tigers since he’s been on staff — TD Moultry, KJ Britt, Chandler Wooten and Harris. That’s an impressive bunch of linebackers, and Williams is just getting started.
Shaun Shivers, track star and football star
As you’ve probably heard, Shaun Shivers is lightning fast.
The 3-star Auburn running back commit brings track speed to the 2018 recruiting class. And I don’t say that as the common football cliche you hear about fast players. Shivers is actually a track star who plans to be a multi-sport athlete on the Plains.
This summer provided Shivers an opportunity to flaunt his skill set on a national stage. Shivers participated in the 200-meter dash at the Prefontaine Class in Oregon where he qualified for the finals in the event.
He placed sixth with a time of 21.08 seconds. For some context, that time would already put Shivers in 20th of the 35 qualifying times posted at the 2017 SEC outdoors, and — in case you forgot — Shivers is going into his senior year of high school.
The national track experience set the Auburn commit up nicely for his multi-sport future.
“The experience was so nice, running against all the fastest kids in the nation,” Shivers said. “Oh yeah, it was a real good experience.”
With the summer track schedule complete, Shiver has turned his full attention to football. That doesn’t involve recruiting unless, of course, he’s the one recruiting other 2018 prospects to Auburn. Kentucky and Utah continue to recruit Shivers, and Kentucky has one of Shivers’ high school teammates Keontra Smith committed in the 2019 class.
But Shivers gives all coaches the same message.
“I’m 100 percent Auburn, that’s all,” Shivers said.