Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. Today, we look at top offensive line target Trey Hill who will visit for A-Day. Also, Trey Dean wants an Auburn offer and Harold Joiner picked up a key offer.
Auburn OL target to visit, stay patient
If there are offensive linemen in the 2018 class better than Trey Hill, the list is short.
The 6-foot-4, 330-pound offensive guard from Houston County (Ga.) is ranked the No. 2 offensive guard in the nation. He’s in the top 40 among overall prospects, which makes him a fringe candidate for a fifth recruiting star. Hill will be an interior lineman at the next level.
For now, Georgia — with 8 of 8 Crystal Ball predictions — is the projected favorite, but Hill insists he doesn’t have a top list or a decision timeline. He communicates with Georgia, Florida, Florida State, LSU, USC and South Carolina on a regular basis.
Auburn is in there, too.
Over the years, Hill has visited Auburn “six or seven times,” and he’ll return again Saturday for A-Day.
“That’s the plan. I just want to see how their line plays, how coach (Herb) Hand coaches in a game setting,” Hill told SEC Country. “I want to view everything over again and see where I’d fit best in their program.”
When it comes to Auburn, most of Hill’s contact is through Hand.
Hill talked with Auburn pre-Hand, but the relationship has developed exponentially since Hand took over offensive line duties. If Auburn has a chance of landing Hill, Hand will be the biggest factor in that decision.
“He’s just a great, energetic coach,” Hill said. “I would really like for him to coach me.”
Gus Malzahn has also joined the Hill recruitment, which shows the interior offensive lineman’s high priority on Auburn’s board.
Hill raved about the Auburn head coach, but he also offered a dose of reality when it comes to what he’ll be watching from Auburn this fall.
“He’s got to win this year,” Hill said. “But he’s a great guy. He’s a family guy. Auburn, really, it’s just a great campus. It’s a great place to be. They treat me like family, and it feels different than other places. It’s just Auburn. That’s the only way to describe it.”
4-star DB target wants to reconnect with Auburn
Auburn recruiting fans should give this piece by Dawgnation’s Jeff Sentell a read. It’s an up-close look at 4-star defensive back Trey Dean from Dutchtown (Ga.). There are some worrisome parts of the article — notably the fact Dean wants to play with Quay Walker, who Dean doesn’t believe will end up at Auburn.
Let’s add some context to that conversation. Dean and Walker are close. Both have expressed their desire to play alongside one another at the college level. These conversations happen from time to time in recruiting. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t.
Right now, however, there isn’t a chance for Dean and Walker to play together at Auburn.
Why? Dean doesn’t hold an Auburn offer.
He wants that to change. Dean told SEC Country a few weeks back his communication with Auburn was nonexistent, but that he “really, really” liked the Tigers. He hopes that level of contact changes in the near future, though he’s already starting to form some of his own decisions.
Last weekend, Dean talked more about the Auburn contact. He hasn’t been in communication with Auburn’s staff since Wesley McGriff was still at Auburn. Since McGriff left for Ole Miss, Dean and Auburn haven’t been a pair.
“Not even a little bit,” Dean said.
Right now, the schools in contention are Alabama, Georgia, UCLA, South Carolina, USC, Oregon and “a bunch of others.” Basically, if you’ve offered Dean, you’re still in the race at this time. Auburn hasn’t offered, so the Tigers aren’t a part of that conversation.
But they can be.
“That’s why I’m trying to get back up there for a practice or a visit,” Dean said. “The game atmosphere was great. I just like the coaching staff and the way they do things. I think they’re going to be great in the next couple years. … If they were to offer, it depends on what they say and the interest they show me, but I’d consider them.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Dean is the No. 23-ranked safety in the 2018 recruiting class.
Top Auburn RB target receives crucial offer
At 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, Harold Joiner isn’t your average running back. His combination of size and agility has drawn comparisons to another running back who played college football in the state of Alabama: Heisman winner Derrick Henry.
Will Joiner have that level of production?
That’s unknown for now, but the physical similarities are impossible to ignore, which has made many in the industry envision him in a Crimson Tide jersey for a while. The only catch was he didn’t hold an Alabama offer.
It’s been brewing for some time, but on Wednesday, Joiner finally picked up that coveted Alabama offer. As SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner reported, Alabama offered Joiner as an athlete rather than explicitly as a running back. Joiner’s physicality and pass-catching ability has some evaluators project him more as a tight end or receiver than running back.
Joiner wants to play running back, though he has said on multiple occasions he won’t rule out other possibilities that present themselves.
Still, Alabama’s hesitance to specifically offer as a running back keeps Auburn’s chances high. Auburn and LSU have been Joiner’s favorites for a while, and that hasn’t changed, he told Kirschner. Ole Miss is also in the mix.
Alabama hasn’t caught up quite yet, but the Crimson Tide are coming. That offer could change the game.
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