Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Tuesday, and SEC Country has two IMG Academy updates on Noah Cain and Justin Osborne.
Will Noah Cain’s relationship with Cadillac Williams help Auburn?
Auburn’s search for a 2019 running back starts at an obvious place: Noah Cain.
The 4-star IMG Academy (Fla.) running back serves that role for many more programs. LSU, Texas, Ohio State, Georgia and several others see Cain as the No. 1 back on their respective positional wish lists. The Tigers do, too, and that’s resulted in two visits from Cain this spring, plus a separate visit made by his mother to check out the program on her own.
Auburn’s best ambassador, however, might be right alongside Cain at IMG Academy.
IMG Academy’s running backs coach is Tigers legend Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. Cain is able to speak to and learn from Williams on a daily basis.
“He’s been where I want to be at. The things he’s done, that’s certainly what I want to do or even surpass it,” Cain said. “Coach Lac is always preaching to me every day about putting the effort in, going 100 percent, just to get to where I want to go.
“That’s what I really need. That’s why I went to IMG, to be corrected by people who have been where I want to be. I want to be better, and he wants to get me there.”
Cain’s relationship with Williams — despite the obvious differences — is similar to that of Cam Newton and many of his 7-on-7 players. Williams has the ability to talk about his positive experiences on the Plains, but it isn’t in his nature to tell a prospect they should go to Auburn just because he did.
Cain said that’s the approach Williams has taken with his recruitment.
“I wouldn’t say he steers me in any way. He just wants what’s best for me,” Cain said. “But it helps that he can tell me a little bit about Auburn and what it’s like to actually be a student-athlete at Auburn. But he doesn’t tell me I should do anything other than what I think is best for me.”
IMG Academy tackle de-commits from TCU after Auburn visit
Justin Osborne hasn’t said much since his Auburn official visit last weekend. He elected against doing interviews after that trip to the Plains. There hadn’t been much information from the TCU side of things after that visit, either.
On Tuesday, it became clear why.
Osborne de-committed from the Horned Frogs via Twitter: “I would like to thank the TCU coaching staff, but I have decided that I’m de-committing from TCU and re-opening my recruitment.”
He hasn’t specified when he’d like to commit to another program, but it should go without saying that this is great news for Auburn. Multiple sources have told me Auburn feels it is the team to beat following the official visit, and that came before the de-commitment. With his de-commitment, that feeling is even stronger.
It’s not a done deal for the Tigers, however. Osborne holds offers from programs such as Michigan, Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah and others. His official visit schedule will be an important one to track.
Kudos to offensive line coach J.B. Grimes for establishing a relationship this spring. Grimes and running backs coach Tim Horton (to see Cain) went to IMG Academy at every allowable occasion this spring. The picture became clearer in recent weeks that Osborne was one of the focal pieces of those evaluation visits.
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