Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we update you on a safety who previously listed Auburn has his leader. Also, a top DE target listed a top 5 and Auburn has prioritized a specific linebacker target.
4-star safety target sets timeline, talks Auburn
ATLANTA — Quindarious Monday has been a name closely linked to Auburn this spring.
Monday told SEC Country at the Nike Opening camp in Atlanta that the Tigers led for his services. He hadn’t been a name tied to the Tigers for long, but the 4-star safety from Carver High School in Atlanta had already taken “four or five” visits to the Plains.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound safety quickly became a trendy pick to Auburn on 247Sports’ crystal ball — myself included. His love for the Tigers hasn’t wavered, but Monday wanted to give a quick pump-the-brakes message as he take the next few months to visit schools and narrow in on a decision.
“I’m going to focus in hard. I know I want to graduate early, so I need to have my decision made before then. It’s going to be real tough,” Monday told SEC Country. “A lot of schools really chasing after me. I can’t put one as the leader. They’re all coming in hard. I’ve got to show everybody love. It wasn’t so much saying Auburn was the leader, but I was basically saying I really liked Auburn.”
That last part hasn’t changed.
Greg Brown attended Monday’s spring game on Friday night, which included a 70-yard receiving touchdown for Monday. On the defensive side of the ball, Brown closely tracked Monday’s every move, taking video of the nation’s No. 11 safety.
Brown’s close attention of Monday has Auburn as “one of the teams to beat.”
“They, especially, were really showing a lot of love. I talk to Auburn on a daily basis. Coach Greg came and saw me this week. I just talk to all the Auburn coaches. They’re all real cool. They all show real love. They just tell me everything that I need to do to make it to the next level,” Monday said. “They tell me I’m one of the best DBs they’re recruiting, and that’s really all I need to know.”
So who has worked to close the gap on Monday?
Well, he wore two sets of gloves during his spring game. Monday wore Georgia gloves in the first half, as defensive coordinator Mel Tucker watched on. In the second half, he reverted back to the same pair of Florida gloves he wore at the Nike Opening. So those two have pushed hard recently.
Florida State, the original team Monday listed as a No. 2, has re-emerged as a major contender. Tennessee, Michigan, Ole Miss and a few others are in contention to receive visits this summer. Monday’s next few months will include several college trips to the aforementioned schools to begin closing in on a place that is “close to home and feels like home.”
The final decision will come by the middle of his senior season after he’s taken some of those official visits. Monday will be an early enrollee.
His next planned trip to Auburn is for Big Cat Weekend on June 3, which comes just following one of Monday’s 7-on-7 tournaments, which brings up another noteworthy item. Monday plays for Cam Newton’s 7-on-7 team alongside Penn State quarterback commit Justin Fields, who Auburn will work effortlessly to flip this fall.
“I just want to go somewhere that feels like home. Auburn, it’s beautiful down there, and the coaches, they’re like really real. They keep it 100. They tell you the right thing. They don’t tell you, ‘We’re not recruiting anyone else.’ They’re going to tell you what exactly they’re doing, and they’re going to be recruiting for Auburn. It’s your decision if you’re going to come or not,” Monday said. “I’m looking for early playing time. They talk to me about early opportunity. They tell me I can come in and compete for a spot. But you’re always going to have to work for what you want.”
Top DE puts Auburn in top 5
Auburn’s defensive line recruiting cycle is beginning to take shape.
Rodney Garner has a proven track record of piecing together star-studded defensive line groups. He already has junior college commit Daquan Newkirk on board from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Garner has been seen all over the recruiting trail during the evaluation period.
One of his major wants: Caleb Tannor, a 3-star defensive end from Miller Grove (Ga.).
Tannor has been a regular on the Plains since the Tigers offered on March 23. He’s attended Auburn twice since then, including a spring game appearance in which he was one of the prospects to stay into the evening.
He released an all-SEC top 5 on Sunday night made up of Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Tennessee.
— Caleb Tannor 2️⃣1️⃣® (@cvleb10) May 22, 2017
Alabama was the notable name left of the list. Tannor said as recently as Auburn’s A-Day game that Auburn, Alabama and Georgia were the three schools he’d “been thinking about the most.” With no Crimson Tide on the list, that would appear to be good news for both Auburn and Georgia.
As of his most recent Auburn visit, the Tigers are particularly in a safe place.
“I like it. I like it a lot. … It’s going to be a hard decision,” Tannor said last month. “I like [Garner]. He says, if I come prepared to play, he’s going to play me as a freshman. So I’m just going to try to see what I can do if I come in here ready to play.”
Tannor wants to have a final decision before the start of his senior season.
Auburn all over nation’s best OLB
JJ Peterson is the nation’s best outside linebacker.
That’s what the 247Sports composite rankings say. That’s what most people say when they’ve watched the Colquitt County (Ga.) linebacker play on Friday nights.
This most recent Friday night, Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and linebackers coach Travis Williams went to scout Peterson’s spring game. They weren’t alone. Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt made the trip, as well.
SEC Country attended the game and spoke with Peterson’s high school coach Rush Propst, who has had both Jeremy Pruitt and Chip Lindsey working for him as coordinators. Alabama is the clear-cut leader at this time, but don’t rule out Auburn, which has solidly confirmed itself as the No. 2 school, thanks to Peterson’s tight-knit relationship with Williams.
Peterson’s decision could be coming sooner rather than later, and getting him on campus for Big Cat Weekend would be a big move.
“This recruitment is a long ways from being over,” Propst said. “Auburn is still in it. We’re going to take him to Georgia and Florida State and he’s probably going to end up visiting Michigan, too. Oregon is in the mix. Those are probably the six. I don’t think you can eliminate any of those schools right now, in my opinion.”
Check out his full spring game highlights.
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