Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. Today, we look at Auburn’s most recent visit hosting top running back target Master Teague III, as well as recaps from a grad transfer invite and Opening showcase.
Top RB target returns and enjoys
For the second time in as many months, Master Teague has been on the Plains.
The 4-star running back from Murfreesboro, Tenn., first visited Feb. 22. He returned Saturday for a more personal visit with Auburn coaches. Teague lacked much doubt about the Tigers leading up to the visit, but any that lingered vanished over the weekend, which included a Friday trip to Tuscaloosa.
“It was a great visit (to Auburn), talking with coaches and everything,” Teague said. “I got to see a short practice and a scrimmage. That was great. You know, a lot of questions were answered. This was a good visit.”
What were those answers he received? More education specifics to Auburn and his mother’s approval.
“We didn’t get to see the academics last time. We cleared up some questions with that. My mom got to come this time, so she got to see everything. So it was a great visit. I got most of my questions answered.”
Teague’s decision isn’t far off.
He’d like to announce as soon as July. There still are several visits he has to make, including a few more lined up within the week. Teague will visit Ohio State and Georgia for spring practices this week.
South Carolina and Tennessee also are heavily in the mix. In fact, Teague said the home-state Volunteers are recruiting him the hardest, using six coaches to recruit him.
Teague isn’t in a position to reveal a list of favorites. He wants to continue evaluating each program.
With that said, Auburn will be a contender. He hopes to return for Big Cat Weekend.
“I’d say they’re one of them that stand out … They’re a school that I’m looking forward to keeping research and keep looking for,” Teague said. “You know, it’s real similar to my offense. I feel like it would be a real comfortable move if I came here, as far as that goes.”
Teague’s relationship with noted running back developer Tim Horton will be a key recruiting pitch for the 5-foot-11, 210-pound back.
“He’s a great man. He’s real passionate about what he does. He seems like a good Christian man. I’m trying to build on what my parents taught me. I like the way he coaches. I think he’s a great coach,” Teague said. “I think that’s important because he has experience working with tailbacks who are great. He knows how to develop those type of guys. That’s a great thing.”
Cal grad transfer recap
SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson penned an official visit recap Sunday on Cal graduate transfer Aaron Cochran. It’s a fascinating interview.
Cochran goes in depth on his purpose to transfer from a program he loves dearly. The 6-foot-8, 350-pound offensive lineman started 16 games for Cal, so he immediately brings Power 5 experience and knowledge to any program. The other schools besides Auburn in contention are Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
Cochran decides shortly after his April 8 visit to Lubbock, Texas.
The two obvious questions: 1) Why Auburn? 2) Will he play?
To answer the first, Cochran has Alabama connections from his youth in Birmingham. He still has family in the state.
The second question is tougher to discern. Auburn has depth at the position, but there never is too much depth on an offensive line. Cochran mentioned discussion of a circulation on the offensive line, but he made one thing very clear.
“(Auburn would) probably try to move some guys around that they think could be better at other positions,” Cochran said. “Give them a little bit more flexibility across the line, some time for some younger people to develop and just have an impact right away.
“As a graduate transfer, I’ve only got six months. If I come in for six months and don’t get to play, then it was a waste.”
Heavy dose of Auburn at the Opening
It was a doozie Sunday in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Opening was loaded with skill players, yet several under-the-radar prospects ended up singing in the star-heavy clinic. Auburn targets, in particular, had a special day at Buford High School when it came to SPARQ ratings, Opening invites and overall performances.
Three front-and-center Auburn targets won MVP honors at the camps: Bo Nix, Richard Jibunor and Channing Tindall.
Nix became the first underclassmen to win a quarterback position MVP, and he did so over the likes of Ohio State commit Emory Jones and 2020 phenom Harrison Bailey. The son of former Auburn standout Patrick Nix pulled out the top QB honors despite his 2019 standing.
Jibunor proved again to be a camp superstar. He’s as competitive in nature as any other prospect at a camp. The Nigerian native is wanted by many — Travis Williams especially — as a linebacker. But the blossoming football player showed Sunday he can be a gem as a pass-rushing defensive end, as well, which is why Rodney Garner is also among those chasing Jibunor, who won defensive line MVP honors over guys like Brenton Cox, Tru Thompason and Jalen Cunningham.
Tindall visited Auburn for junior day, but has prioritized other schools (for now) because of his lesser familiarity with the Tigers. He hopes and expects that to change. Tindall showed Sunday to be one of the shiniest of stars in an impressive camp. He earned top SPARQ rating honors, linebacker MVP and an Opening invite.
Recruiting-wise: There was plenty more from the Opening. Keep your eyes peeled later in the day for a scoop recap from SEC Country interviews in Atlanta, along with a photo gallery of key Auburn targets. The Tigers had a large footprint at Buford High School on Sunday.