Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Monday, and SEC Country looks at an elite Florida receiver close to committing, three top-100 visitors over the weekend and two dead period commitments to watch.
Elite Florida WR close to committing — to Auburn?
John Dunmore’s first visit to Auburn made an unexpected impression.
The nation’s No. 107 overall prospect took his official visit to the Plains over the weekend. He didn’t know what to expect — outside of what former Chaminade-Madonna (Fla.) teammate Shaun Shivers had told him. Dunmore was pleasantly surprised by the environment and what he saw from the Auburn program.
“I was impressed. Before I got up here, I thought it would be all country, but I came up and gave them a chance and was impressed,” Dunmore said. “[Shivers] told me to come up and see for myself. He was like me. He thought the same way I thought, that Auburn would be country, but it’s nice.”
Auburn’s wide receiver board has started to take interesting shape.
The Tigers originally planned to take two wide receivers in the class. They’ve had George Pickens since last summer, but decided to add rising in-state star Ja’Varrius Johnson after a summer camp. That rose the expected “take” number to three.
After Jalen Curry’s official visit, he looked to be a likely candidate for that spot. Dunmore’s visit and follow-up comments add even more intrigue.
He plans to make a decision in the next week, probably while he’s at The Opening in Frisco, Texas.
“Right now, Penn State and Auburn are really up there,” Dunmore said. “Kodi Burns, we have been talking and building a relationship for two years. And Coach [Larry] Porter, I can trust him. The coaches here can develop me. I also am cool with the players here, so it could be a good fit.”
Dunmore mentioned Pickens and Owen Pappoe as guys he would like to play with. He went even further and described Auburn quarterback commit Bo Nix as “the key” because of his status as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks.
Prior to Auburn, Dunmore had taken official visits to Penn State and Michigan. Penn State has the best chance of fighting off Dunmore for Auburn.
This is a late surprising move in Dunmore’s recruitment, but from speaking with multiple sources since Dunmore’s departure, the growing belief is that Dunmore will join Auburn’s class within the next week or so.
Latest on 3 top-100 visitors from weekend
Auburn’s weekend was a busy one. The Tigers added two commitments — Jashawn Sheffield and Justin Osborne — and lost one from Cordale Flott. Auburn hosted Dunmore, who said some interesting things. The Tigers held multiple high school camps.
Auburn wanted to close out with some momentum before the dead period hit Monday.
That wasn’t exclusive to official visitors or the aforementioned on-campus events.
Auburn hosted three big-time unofficial visitors ranked inside the top 100 nationally. Here’s the latest on each.
5-star WR Jadon Haselwood (Georgia commit): He was back at Auburn … yet again. Haselwood’s regularity at Auburn has gotten to the point that I’m losing track of visits he’s taken. It’s around five, which is enough to tell you the interest is real. Haselwood is close friends with new Auburn commit Jashawn Sheffield, so Haselwood wanted to stop by to spend some time with Sheffield on his big day. As one source described it, this one is “going to go 15 rounds” with Georgia. Auburn will continue to recruit Dunmore, Curry and others, but Haselwood is the type of talent you take in December regardless of positional numbers.
4-star LB Rian Davis: Davis made his first visit to Auburn during his recruitment. He’s just starting to build a relationship with linebackers coach Travis Williams. According to one source, Davis is Georgia’s to lose, but Auburn won’t give up the fight. Davis was impressed by Williams and more interested in Auburn than he expected. He told the Auburn staff he will take an official visit in the fall, but based on his heavy Georgia interest, there are some at Auburn who wonder whether that trip will happen. Regardless, Williams did enough on Saturday to make Davis think twice about Auburn, something that hadn’t happened to this point.
4-star ATH Mark-Antony Richards: Richards has always said he’d look long and hard at Auburn. Outside of his expected fall official visit, Richard might’ve taken his biggest look yet over the weekend. He was with his whole family and checked out the whole campus, spent time with coaches and met with a communications professor to discuss the course load for Richards’ desired major. This has been and likely will be a Miami-Auburn battle until the end. With Richards’ brother taking a similar recruiting trajectory — and ultimately landing closer to home at Miami — many believe this will be a tough get. With that said, Auburn’s push for Richards as a running back can make this interesting. In fact, you just might see Richards in my 2019 class projection at the end of the week (which will be my last article for SEC Country).
Offensive line commitment to watch during dead period
The monthlong dead period won’t be completely dead.
Most coaches will take their vacations. Recruits won’t be able to take visits to college campuses. But there still will be plenty of permissible communication between players and coaches — and several players are likely to commit during the down time. Dunmore is one, but there’s another who likely will be in the Tigers class before the dead period ends.
Top guard target Keiondre Jones was, again, at Auburn over the weekend. He stopped by on his way back from a Mississippi State visit to hang out and spend some time with Sheffield (the two are close). Jones has been at Auburn four times in the last five weeks, whether it be on a planned unofficial, an official visit or him just stopping by for fun during a camp.
My Crystal Ball has been in favor of Auburn for a while now, but it’s gotten to the point Jones is ready to end his recruitment. If the Tigers aren’t the choice, it would be stunning.
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