Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Tuesday, and we look at two defensive backs — Joe Foucha and Juanyeh Thomas — who may have fallen victim to Auburn’s surge at safety.
Joe Foucha puts Tigers in top 7
Despite all of Auburn’s success in recruiting safeties, there is another safety target who has the Tigers near the top of his list.
New Orleans product Joe Foucha grew up an Auburn fan and has talked about the Tigers as his leader after each of his visits to the Plains this year. There was a point in time when it seemed like a guarantee for Foucha to end up in orange and blue as Auburn looked to be chasing other programs for its top safety targets.
Foucha took the next step to selecting a college. He released a list of top 7 schools that included Auburn, Arizona State, Alabama, Kansas, Florida State, Arkansas and LSU.
DREAM CHASING CATCHING ALL MY GOALS!!! 7️⃣ pic.twitter.com/yL2cdq9rR9
— JSF7️⃣ (@joe_foucha) August 7, 2017
Foucha once called the Tigers his leader, but he backed off that slightly when he spoke with SEC Country on Monday night.
“Everything is 50/50,” Foucha said. “Everybody is even.”
That’s a slight change in tone from the past, but that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Auburn expected to lose Quindarious Monday to Clemson. He committed to Auburn during a visit with family. The Tigers originally added Kolbi Fuqua as a wide receiver. He’ll now likely play safety. Josh Marsh wasn’t even on the radar. Now he’s in the class as a safety or star. Plus the Tigers added Jamien Sherwood recently.
So what was once a major need, the safety position is much more clear, which is why Foucha has backed of his stance of Auburn as his leader.
“Yes, it changed things [when all those safeties committed]. They were actually leading before that,” he said.
This shouldn’t be a huge shock.
Foucha is a solid player who has visited multiple times. But the Tigers have such a need at safety they couldn’t afford to wait out the entire recruiting cycle in hopes of landing a safety. They needed to secure several at the position in the class early, and they did that with four potential additions before the 2017 season starts.
That’s not to say Foucha’s potential run with the Tigers is complete.
While he’s listed as a safety, Auburn still is in search of cornerback options. Foucha will undoubtedly be one of the players the Tigers keep an eye on during the 2017 season to evaluate whether he could play cornerback, too.
It’s unknown right now whether Foucha would even consider a scholarship offer as a cornerback rather than a safety.
Luckily for Auburn, Foucha has said for a while that he might not even commit until National Signing Day. So if the Tigers’ stance on Foucha changes, they’ll have plenty of time to recruit him more heavily.
Another DB soon off the board?
Juanyeh Thomas once looked like a guarantee to land in Auburn’s class.
Much like Foucha, he was an underrated target who Greg Brown narrowed in on during the spring. Thomas visited Auburn multiple times during the spring and summer and called the Tigers his leader at times.
But Thomas also fell victim to the Tigers’ rapid additions at safety. Thomas is listed as a cornerback, but the Tigers viewed him as a safety. He admitted three weeks ago that Auburn’s commitment from Quindarious Monday altered his leaderboard, and that likely only happened more when Sherwood came on board.
Thomas will announce his college decision Tuesday, which fits right into the early summer timeframe he gave SEC Country at the beginning of the summer (Aug. 5 to Aug. 18). It’s Aug. 8, and Thomas will decide.
My Crystal Ball pick is in for Georgia Tech, and that’s where it’ll stay. Thomas said when we last spoke that the Yellow Jackets were the program starting to stand out from the rest.
Cross another Auburn target off its defensive board.
Possible commitments in August
I’ve mentioned before that Auburn would like to reach 15 commitments by the start of the football season, or close to it.
That means the Tigers have a chance to add close to four more in the class within the next few weeks. Here are the five players who I think could land in the Tigers’ class before August runs up.
- Coynis Miller
- Asa Martin
- Richard Jibunor
- Andres Fox
- Matthew Hill
That’s not to say I think all five will choose Auburn. But I think all five will have decisions in before the season starts, and the Tigers are either No. 1 or No. 2 on every single list.
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