Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we look a pair of 2019 prospects — tight end Ryland Goede and wide receiver Shamar Nash — who are already considering Auburn.
Auburn’s weekend will be filled with 2018 recruiting talent. The Tigers still have plenty of work remaining in this class. With only six commitment, it’s likely to be a hectic few months for Auburn on the recruiting trail.
But that hasn’t stopped the coaching staff from looking ahead.
The Tigers have passed out a number of 2019 class offers over the evaluation period. They’ve begun full-out recruiting a few of the underclassmen. Here’s a look at two prospects who Auburn is chasing early.
4-star TE Ryland Goede, Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.)
At 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, Ryland Goede has all the tools to be a successful, next-level tight end.
He can block. He can run. He can catch. He can even play baseball, which he hopes to do at the next level. It’s no wonder why the caliber of programs recruiting are doing so with such intensity.
“So far the hardest that are recruiting me are Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia, Auburn and Notre Dame,” Goede told SEC Country.
Like most rising juniors, Goede hasn’t narrowed down his list much. The next year will be about taking school visits and further developing relationships with coaching staffs.
When it comes to visits, he’s already a seasoned veteran. Despite his underclassman status, Goede has been sought after since he started taking visits during the spring of 2015. He’s visited Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson and a few others.
But Goede’s been a regular at a few places more than others.
“I’ve been to a lot of places, but I’ve been the most this last year probably to Auburn and Georgia,” Goede said.
The 6-foot-7 tight end most recently visited Auburn on April 1.
That’s when he was able to talk more 1-on-1 with Gus Malzahn, Chip Lindsey and Larry Porter to figure out what the tight end position will mean for Auburn going forward. Here’s what they told him.
“They are telling me they’re going to a true tight end now instead of using both H-Backs and tight ends, and they’re telling me I’m their No. 1 guy. They want me to keep getting back over here,” Goede said. “That’s big-time. One of the first things I consider in a school is seeing how they would use me. The way (Lindsey) talked to me it seems like they’re going to be using the tight end a ton.”
He said he’ll ultimately choose “whatever school has the total package.” What does that mean exactly?
In no particular order here are the factors that will be important to Goede:
- Program that preaches academics on visits
- Opportunity to play baseball
- Chance to be a grad assistant after he’s done playing
- School that makes position fit most clear
That’s just the beginning, and Goede says he isn’t anywhere near narrowing things down.
He’s likely to return to Georgia and Auburn later in the summer. Goede is close friends with two other Auburn targets — Dominick Blaylock and JD Bertrand — so that would be a pretty sweet package deal, though Auburn and Georgia are the only two with a real chance to grab all three.
Unranked WR Shamar Nash, Memphis Central (Tenn.)
His process is just getting underway, but Shamar Nash is already starting his search.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver from Memphis, Tenn., only holds two offers so far. Tennessee offered on March 30. Auburn offered last weekend on May 28. The Auburn offer came while Nash sat on the Tigers’ campus for the first time.
And it wasn’t just his first time at Auburn — it was his first college visit anywhere, which left an impression.
“Auburn is definitely the dopest visit I’ve been on, but that’s because it’s the only school visit I’ve been on,” Nash told SEC Country “It was great. Coach (Malzahn) was real nice. The whole coaching staff was real welcoming. It was awesome. I liked the campus and everything.”
While Nash enjoyed Auburn, he hasn’t reached the point of “picking and choosing yet.” He said the day he got the Tennessee offer was the best day of his life, and the Auburn offer — two months later — came close to the same feeling.
The Tigers will have a special place in his heart until the end due to their early efforts.
“They reached out to me. Not a lot of schools reach out to a guy like me who doesn’t have a lot of film. I’m just getting out, getting seen. That was real cool to me. I’ve got to respect that,” Nash said. “Everything is moving fast for me. It’s just now starting to happen. I don’t know much, but I know they’ll be one of my top.”
One thing that stood out about Nash: His appreciation for the sport of football.
It’s common to ask what these high-profile prospects do off the field. Oftentimes, recruits have non-football items they identify with as much as the gridiron. Nash had a particularly interesting answer to the question.
“All I do is football. All I focus on is football. Everything I do is football,” Nash said. “I’m very dedicated. I really love the game. I work every day. I just really love the process. There’s nothing that can remove me from playing football.”
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