Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we look at a 4-star wide receiver who will attend Auburn for Big Cat Weekend and explain why a 4-star safety who is high on the Tigers could miss the trip.
Georgia WR to return for Big Cat Weekend
Auburn will be loaded with wide receiver talent for Big Cat Weekend.
Shedrick Jackson, Justyn Ross and Kolbi Fuqua are confirmed visitors. You can add another name to the list: 4-star Kearis Jackson. He’s the No. 24 wide receiver in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite, but in a strong year for receivers, that puts him outside the top 100 overall at No. 121.
Jackson is familiar with the Plains. Since Auburn offered in January, Jackson has visited the Tigers twice. He expects to return to a comfortable environment this weekend for Auburn’s premier recruiting event of the summer.
“I’ve visited more than once, so I think I will like it again. I’m just going to keep liking it,” Jackson told SEC Country.
Jackson most recently attended Auburn twice in a month span, including one of the Tigers’ spring junior days.
It gave him a first impression of the program, as well as some more personalized time with the coaching staff. His non-junior day trip was a midweek visit that allowed Jackson to be on campus when few other prospects were, which meant Gus Malzahn, Chip Lindsey, Kodi Burns and others could place their full attention on the 5-foot-11 wide receiver from Peach County (Ga.).
Like most prospects who visit Auburn, Jackson was blown away by the tight-knit culture he experienced on the Plains.
“That’s important really. They show a lot of love,” Jackson said. “Everybody down there, they’re like a family really. I like that a lot really.”
Auburn, of course, isn’t the only team chasing this highly-coveted receiver.
Georgia is considered the favorite with the in-state pull. Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan and 20 or so others have offered and will work to get Jackson on campus in the coming weeks and months. Jackson has started to narrow in on a select group of top schools, but that’s something he’s keeping to himself for now.
As for his decision factor, Jackson even admitted it’s something he thinks could help Auburn in the long run.
“I don’t want to go nowhere where I’ll be a redshirt, sitting on the depth chart, nothing like that,” Jackson said. “Georgia and Auburn. Those are the only two I’ve seen. I know Auburn, they aren’t really signing many receivers this year, so that’s good.”
There is one other key factor helping Auburn here.
That’s the recruitment of Trey Hill, the No. 2 offensive guard in the nation. As written about in this space last week, Jackson and Hill want to play college ball together. That figures to be positive news for Georgia, which seemingly sits in the driver’s seat for both, but it’s also a great sign for Auburn.
Jackson and Hill have the Tigers heavily in the mix and, if Hill makes the trip, they could end up at Big Cat Weekend together. Those two recruitments will be linked until the finish.
Jackson seems to be much more certain than Hill that the two prospects will end up at the same destination.
“We communicate a lot, and we plan on playing together,” Jackson said.
Why 4-star safety’s potential absence isn’t a concern
Quindarious Monday is one of Auburn’s top safety targets.
The 4-star prospect from Carver (Ga.) in Atlanta has spoken highly of the Tigers in the past and has said he intends to visit Auburn for its Big Cat Weekend recruiting event, which will take place on Saturday. It should be an impressive cast that Monday has always been scheduled to be a part of.
He’s not completely ruling out his ability to make it, but as pointed out last week, his role on the Cam Newton 7-on-7 team will take precedent over his recruiting visit plans. The tournament will reconvene on Friday, and if Monday, Justin Fields and others on that team have their way, the squad will earn its way into Saturday play as well.
That would likely take Monday and Fields off the visit list for the weekend, though only Monday has previously been a confirmed guest. In fact, Monday told SEC Country on Tuesday that he will “probably not” be in attendance despite his previous wishes to be there.
This shouldn’t frighten Auburn fans.
In fact, the Tigers can (jokingly) blame one of their own — Newton — for preoccupying Monday’s time. The safety starred on Memorial Day, stating his case as one of the best defensive players competing. It shows Monday’s team-first competitiveness to put the 7-on-7 squad, which has a rare title-or-bust attitude, before his own recruitment.
Auburn will end up getting a visit from Monday in the near future, if he’s ultimately unable to attend this weekend.
He’s just putting Cam Newton’s 7-on-7 squad as his priority this time around.
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