Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. These notebooks will now publish in the evening Sunday through Thursday. It’s Monday, and SEC Country got the latest on two guards — a top uncommitted target and a Miami pledge. Also, a top receiver placed Auburn in his top group.
Auburn guard target makes second visit in as many weeks
Keiondre Jones knows Auburn well.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound guard from Hogansville, Ga., attended at least three games in Jordan-Hare Stadium in the fall. Jones has been recruited by Tigers defensive line coach Rodney Garner, his area recruiter, for a few years now and it’s one of his strongest coach-recruit relationships. Plus, he’s been to Auburn two times in the last two weeks, which has made the Tigers a growing contender.
Jones, ranked as the seventh-best guard nationally in the 247Sports composite, said after his most recent visit that Auburn is making its move.
“Yeah, they’re trying to recruit their way to the top. They’re working their way up. That’s big-time football right here,” Jones said. “I just feel at home. It’s right down the road. It’s easy to get here. I like the coaches here. Me and Coach Garner have had a good relationship for a while. I like [offensive line] coach [J.B.] Grimes. I just have a good feeling here.”
Jones’ most recent visits have been more hands-on than previous trips.
Throughout the fall, his game day visits prevented him from having much 1-on-1 time with coaches. Auburn has picked up its communication since turning the calendar to the 2019 class. Jones said he hears from someone on the Tigers’ staff on an every-other-day basis.
His back-to-back visits to the Plains have shown him that Auburn’s interest has “picked up a little bit more,” which has been reciprocated on his end.
Jones was especially impressed when he attended the Tigers’ spring practice on Saturday.
“I had a really good time getting to see Coach Grimes coach. I hadn’t gotten to see him coach before, so that was a great learning experience for me,” Jones said. “I just have a really good vibe, better than I had before.”
Jones plans to make a college decision before his senior season. Florida, Clemson, South Carolina and Mississippi State are the other programs to watch. Someone close to the situation said Auburn is as good of a spot as possible right now, and that the Tigers are most conscious of Florida for the time being because of Jones’ close relationship with his cousin Emory Jones who signed as the Gators’ quarterback last class.
Jones will take a visit to Gainesville, Fla., likely on March 16 and 17. He plans to return for Auburn’s spring game on April 7.
Miami offensive line commit enjoys visit, plans to return
Kingsley Eguakun committed to Miami on Jan. 12 as a relative unknown prospect from Jacksonville, Fla.
At the time, the 6-3, 294-pound guard held offers from Miami, Louisville and UAB. Eguakun ranked — and still ranks — as the No. 31 guard and No. 934 overall prospect in the Class of 2019. But whenever a top program takes an early commitment from a lower-ranked recruit, it catches the attention of several other Power 5 schools who quickly evaluate — and often offer.
That’s what happened here with Eguakun.
Auburn and Tennessee have offered in the last two weeks. Texas A&M and LSU are two other programs communicating regularly with the Miami commit.
The Tigers have made a bigger move than most in the effort to change Eguakun’s mind, which won’t be an easy task. Auburn hosted Eguakun on his first trip to the Plains last weekend, and he expects to return later in the spring.
“First time here. I liked it a lot. It was a great experience, great talking with all the coaches and getting to meet everybody, great getting to go to the basketball game,” Eguakun said. “I’m very interested really. It’s a great opportunity, great school. I definitely be back during the spring. I’m coming up with my coach in the spring, and I’ll probably come up with my mom and grandma.”
Miami is creating a pipeline of sorts from Jacksonville to Coral Gables. In fact, the Hurricanes are using the phrase “Da-U-Val” as a way to play off Duval County, home to Jacksonville. Because of this, it won’t be easy for Auburn or others to flip Eguakun from Miami.
If he returns to the Plains, however, the Tigers will have a serious chance.
Elite Texas WR places Auburn among top schools
Auburn has positioned itself to recruit the elite of the elite at wide receiver.
Last week, SEC Country broke down the wide receivers ranked inside the top 100 whom Auburn finds itself in serious contention to land.
Jalen Curry was part of that group. The 6-3, 195-pound prospect from Houston ranks as the No. 90 overall player in the country, and he’s been heavily recruited by Auburn receivers coach Kodi Burns. Curry has been offered by anyone and everyone, and he’s ready to start narrowing the selection process down.
He told SEC Country last week that he plans to make it to Auburn soon to “catch a spring practice.”
Curry released a top 10 during the weekend, and the Tigers made the cut. Auburn is joined by Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
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