Trey Hill’s recruitment didn’t end the way Auburn fans would’ve liked.
At the time Hill chose Georgia on Monday night, the big offensive tackle was likely Auburn’s top uncommitted prospect remaining in the Class of 2018. Hill had been the recruiting centerpiece for quite a while as the Tigers hosted him four times during the 2017 football season, including the decisive home wins over Georgia and Alabama.
Ultimately, Hill was drawn toward Athens over Auburn, which leaves the Tigers in a bind to close out the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Auburn has two offensive linemen committed in the class. Kam Stutts and Jalil Irvin both project as interior linemen. Stutts has the build and agility to do both, realistically, but all forecasts have Stutts ending up inside, so that’s where we’ll project him for the purpose of this discussion.
The big-picture outlook for 2018 always included two tackles and three interior linemen, though Hill was the major want in that slot. Below is a breakdown of the remaining high school and junior college options at guard and tackle. There will be plenty more to read at SEC Country regarding offensive linemen in the coming days, weeks and months.
High school targets at guard
Here are the primary guard prospects who claim offers.
- Kam Stutts (Auburn commit)
- Jalil Irvin (Auburn commit)
- Christian Meadows (Florida State commit)
- Tank Jenkins
- Ed Montilus
- Will Lawrence (Virginia commit)
Stutts and Irvin are committed. Jenkins has been the prospect most closely tied to Auburn. His recruitment has almost seemed directly linked to the Tigers. There have been multiple moments when commitments from Jenkins have seemed imminent. But Auburn had to play it patient with Hill. Will that hurt in the long run with Jenkins? Time will tell, but he’s now receiving major interest from Louisville and Oklahoma.
As for Montilus, he hasn’t visited Auburn in awhile, but the Tigers have been on his radar since he camped with them two summers ago.
Meadows and Lawrence are both committed elsewhere, but have visited Auburn during the 2017 calendar year. Whether that means Auburn is interested or vice versa is a different conversation, but there are past relationships, and at this time of year coaching staffs have to circle back to all of their options when they miss on a guy like Hill.
High school targets at tackle
Here are the primary tackle prospects who claim offers.
- Jerome Carvin
- Nicholas Petit-Frere
- William Barnes
- Richard Gouraige (Florida commit)
- Dylan Wonnum
- Qadir White (Syracuse commit)
- Christian Armstrong (Florida State commit)
- Jalen Goss
Uncommitted, the main ones to zero in on (for now) are Carvin, Wonnum and Goss. All four have visited Auburn for either the Georgia game, the Alabama game, or both. That means the Tigers have been on their minds recently. Carvin is showing interest in Florida with its new staff, but a decision hasn’t been made. Goss is a secondary option, but an athletic guy to be able to fall back on.
That’s not to underestimate Auburn’s chances with uncommitted prospects such as Petit-Frere and Barnes. Petit-Frere is one of the more highly touted offensive linemen in the country, so it’d be a big score just to contend for him. Barnes might be a more realistic option with a familiarity with Auburn and a stated desire to visit again.
The committed guys — Gouraige, Armstrong and White — have some potential for change. Gouraige is showing Auburn interest despite his Florida commitment. He visited for the Iron Bowl and it resonated. Armstrong was also there and has visited Auburn at least five times during 2017. He’s someone to look at in January, as well, especially with a coaching change. White seems more far-fetched, but there is a long-standing relationship there with Herb Hand.
Potential junior college O-line options
Not many details have emerged about these prospects. A lot of times, these evaluations are done at the end of the school year so teams can assess film and academics. That means things sometimes are happening on the fly in regard to the junior college ranks. But Auburn has made sure to cover all its bases, especially when it comes to JUCO offensive linemen.
More names will emerge and more visits will be taken, but here are the prospects who (offered or not) are on the Tigers’ radar on the offensive line.
- Jahmir Johnson
- Noah Banks (Arkansas commit)
- Jarrett Patterson