Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we look at the latest on Juanyeh Thomas, Dominick Blaylock and Justin Fields.
Florida DB updates final stages of recruitment
HOOVER, Ala. — Pump the brakes with Juanyeh Thomas.
The 3-star defensive back from Niceville (Fla.) has been at Auburn a lot this spring and summer. So much so that I felt it was a fair question to ask: Why haven’t you committed yet? That’s because Thomas has a few things he needs to see.
He plans on camping at Alabama this weekend, and he awaits a potential offer. He has a visit set up to Georgia Tech later this month. And he needs to see what schools prioritize him with likely a month between now and decision time.
Of his set top 3 — Auburn, Georgia Tech and Florida — does anyone jump out? The answer might surprise you. It surprised me.
“Georgia Tech,” Thomas said. “Coaches get in touch with me. He tells me how he wants me. So he’s been talking to me every day now that coaches can call.”
I didn’t interpret that as “I’m going to be a Yellow Jacket,” by the way. I viewed it as Georgia Tech is the program emphasizing the need for Thomas most. Auburn is likely trying to figure out what to do with Thomas.
The Tigers haven’t been clear with Thomas whether they’re recruiting him as a cornerback or safety or both (personally, with his size, I think he’s a safety). But Thomas noted Auburn picked up a safety commitment from Quindarious Monday last week.
It doesn’t affect his interest in Auburn, but Thomas understands roster spots can be limited sometimes.
“They just got a 4-star safety. It probably switched things up a little bit (on their end),” Thomas said. “But I’m not worried about that. They make me feel like I’m at home. I’m just so comfortable at Auburn.”
If the Tigers decide they want Thomas, they’ll probably get him.
Unless the newest suitor offers.
As mentioned, Thomas plans to visit Tuscaloosa to camp over the weekend. His coach has been in contact with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt who has pushed for Thomas to make it up for a camp.
If an offer were to come there, then Auburn’s worry level could rise.
“Coach Pruitt has been in touch with my coach. He really wants me to come camp,” Thomas said. “He really loves my size and everything. He just wants to see me at camp. That would change everything. Everyone doesn’t just get an offer from Bama. That would change everything. That’s a championship program. If I do get an offer, and do decide to go there, that’s a big game-changer right there.”
The visit to Alabama this weekend and a visit to Georgia Tech later in the month are the only plans Thomas has set. He said he’s been to Auburn at least four times this year, so he doesn’t feel the need to go back. Thomas knows what he’s getting at Auburn, and he already loves it.
Aug. 5 is a tentative decision date. A lot of that will be dependent on the Alabama visit this weekend. If an offer comes, expect to see a pushed back decision date.
What will Thomas be looking for in the final stages of his recruitment?
“Just the school that wants me the most and whoever thinks I can come in and impact their program in a big way,” he said. “I’m going to come to a school and work hard to try to play as a freshman. That’s the goal right now.”
5-star WR already knows where he’s going
HOOVER, Ala. — Dominick Blaylock is on the verge of an announcement.
“It’ll probably be here in a couple weeks,” he told SEC Country.
The 4-star 2019 wide receiver from Walton (Ga.) is a top want for Auburn, Clemson and Georgia. He’s visited all in the last month and a half as part of a final round trip to figure out who he’s going to commit to.
His decision has already been made.
“Yeah, I know,” Blaylock said. “I knew last week.”
Nothing specific happened. He talked it over daily with his family and arrived at a decision. I asked Blaylock a few questions about his upcoming announcement. I didn’t press him, and he’s far too smart to reveal anything to me.
But here are a few tidbits on his nearing decision.
- The only people who know are Blaylock and his parents. He hasn’t told coaching staffs yet.
- How he chose: “It was a good school. It was a really good campus down there. They have a really good coaching staff. I just really like that school.”
- What school is he most familiar with? “Probably Georgia or Auburn.”
- What coach is he closest to? “Probably Tim Horton with Auburn.”
The Crystal Ball points to Georgia — 100 percent of those votes. After all, Blaylock is the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation for the 2019 class, and he’s from the state of Georgia.
The visit heard ’round the world
It’s been the talk of the Auburn recruiting world this week.
Justin Fields — the No. 1 prospect in the nation by some services — was set to visit Auburn with 4-star wide receivers Matthew Hill and Kearis Jackson. Most of that happened. Jackson didn’t make the visit, and with the tea leaves pointing to Georgia, maybe it’s best Fields was able to visit the Plains without any outside influence.
Fields arrived with his father who is, without question, the most influential in his final decision. He elected not to do interviews, so there aren’t any ground-breaking quotes to provide you.
But Fields did have the opportunity to go to the stadium to throw with Hill, who Fields has known for quite sometime. Don’t undersell this friendship in Fields’ ultimate decision.
By several accounts, Fields impressed Auburn’s staff and players. Wide receiver Kyle Davis publicly commented.
all i'm saying is the hype is real. stay greedy lil bro🤙🏾@justnfields
— KD (@KDSZN) July 14, 2017
As for Hill, he left without a commitment. Hill plans to visit South Carolina one more time, but he’ll also likely return for Auburn’s picnic on July 22. Consider Hill on commitment watch for that event later in the month.