Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. Today, we look at Auburn’s advantage in the race for 4-star safety Quindarious Monday, as well as a quick camp story on Richard Jibunor. Also, here’s the latest on Ben Bresnahan — an emerging tight end from Georgia.
Lanky, physical safety has Auburn on top
Quindarious brings a whole new meaning to a Case of the Mondays.
Unlike the first day of the work week, 6-foot-2, 177-pound safety Quindarious Monday is something most people look forward to seeing. Monday, a 4-star safety from Atlanta, brings length and ball skills that have some of the top defensive back coaches in the nation drooling over his talent.
That includes Auburn. Lucky for the Tigers, the feeling is mutual.
“Auburn is in the lead, then it’s Florida State and Florida,” Monday told SEC Country while wearing Gators’ gloves. “Auburn shows a lot of love. I like the coaches. They interact with you real good. They show they need you.”
The Gators and Seminoles are making the strongest push for Monday, but they’re not alone. Georgia and Tennessee, as well as some other unnamed programs, continue the chase for the 4-star safety from Carver High. All of those schools trail Auburn at the moment, thanks to a solid tag-team effort by Kevin Steele, Greg Brown, Travis Williams and, most recently, Gus Malzahn.
Auburn’s lead isn’t too significant, but it’s there.
“Not much, but they definitely have a slight advantage,” Monday said. “They just need to keep doing what they’re doing now, showing love, talking to me regularly. They just show real love. I hear from Auburn and maybe Florida State more than anybody.”
Most of that Auburn love comes from Steele and Brown, though Williams and Malzahn have jumped in on occasion.
Monday first visited Auburn last spring, which led to five more visits between then and Auburn’s junior day in January.
His one-on-one conversations with Steele stood out to him early in the recruiting process. Likewise, Monday’s few meetings with Brown have shown him a resume that directly correlates to future NFL success.
That combination gives Auburn an early edge.
“On my visit, coach Steele told me one thing that stood out, ‘We don’t recruit against people. We recruit for Auburn.’ That’s what I really like about that,” Monday said. “With Coach Brown, oh, it’s definitely his experience. He coached in the league for a long time. He coached a lot of good players. He coached HaHa Clinton-Dix, a real good safety. We wear the same number, as a matter of fact.”
As of now, Monday hasn’t set up a commitment timeline. But he said that if he were forced to decide tomorrow, Auburn would be the choice — and he said it without hesitation.
Jibunor competes at DL (at a very high level)
Here’s a quick peek inside the mind of Auburn linebacker target Richard Jibunor who showed Sunday that “linebacker target” might be a loose term.
Jibunor, as noted a couple weeks ago, didn’t pick up the sport of football until his sophomore season — a year after he moved to Athens, Ga., from Nigeria. He didn’t truly know how competitive he’d be at the sport until his first recruiting camp in between his freshman and sophomore years.
He attended an Athens-area camp in the spring of 2015, an event that included highly-ranked athletes Mecole Hardman and Demetris Robertson.
“When I went and did my measurements, they had athletes like Mecole Hardman and Demetris Robertson. I just looked at those guys like, ‘OK. The first camp I’m coming to is to compete with these dudes?” Jibunor told SEC Country two weeks ago. “I ran like a 4.6, had like a 10-foot-3 broad jump, vertical was about a 38 back then. It gave me confidence that I could show up and compete with the best guys … That was when I really felt I had a future in football.”
Why tell this two-year-old camp story, you ask?
Because the sequel took place Sunday at the Nike Opening in Atlanta. Sure, Jibunor has attended plenty of camps since his first, but Sunday showed what the 6-foot-4, 210-pound prospect is capable of when he puts his mind to a task.
Wanted by most as a linebacker, Jibunor saw some of the talent that would be at the Opening regional. A certain position group stood out — as far as superstars go — and he wanted to test his grit even if it meant working at a less familiar position.
“I talked to a bunch of the top offensive linemen and knew they were coming to the camp. I really wanted to go up against them, so I decided to come at defensive line,” Jibunor said after the camp.
Jibunor didn’t just compete. He won.
Rodney Garner always has told Jibunor he wants him for the Buck defensive end role at Auburn. Jibunor typically said that as if Garner mentioned it tongue-in-cheek, but it was Garner who was on the phone with Jibunor minutes after he was named the defensive line MVP in a camp that included top prospects like Brenton Cox and Coynis Miller.
Tell Jibunor to jump? He says how high. You tell him how high? He doubles it.
Auburn continues to evaluate rising TE from Georgia
Ben Bresnahan is starting to gain serious traction on the recruiting trail.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound tight end from West Forsyth (Ga.) has added double-digit offers in 2017. Most recently, he picked up a trio of Friday offers from East Carolina, Utah and Pittsburgh. That brings Bresnahan to 17 offers, the first coming from Wake Forest last summer.
His relationship with Auburn is relatively new, so the Tigers’ staff will continue evaluating him, but he was blown away by his visit over the weekend. Bresnahan hopes to add an offer as coaches get into spring evaluation periods.
“Auburn really stood out to me. I just connected with coaches really well,” Bresnahan said. “They said they want to get more of a relationship since I’ve only talked to them a couple weeks. Hopefully after that … They said come back any time. Both Coach (Larry) Porter and Coach (Tim) Horton will be down in May for spring practice.”
Bresnahan wants to make a decision by late summer or early fall, but he isn’t married to that timeline. The pass-catching tight end — who actually plays receiver for his high school — has communicated with programs like Auburn, Clemson and Michigan on a regular basis, but has yet to receive offers.
Those offers might be near, so he wants to stay patient with the process to help make a calculated decision. An offer from Auburn would go a long way.
“Obviously I respect every offer, but it would definitely mean a lot because I can really see myself here and have a great connection with the coaches,” Bresnahan said. “They said they really like my film. They like what I can bring to the program because obviously in high school I play receiver.”
Bresnahan is a 3-star prospect ranked as the No. 932 recruiting nationally, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, but his stock is rising in a hurry. He caught 57 passes for 764 yards and 7 touchdowns during his junior season for West Forsyth.
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