Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we give the latest Auburn updates on one of the Tigers’ top offensive line targets. We also give a tidbit on Auburn’s lone quarterback commit.
Nation’s No. 2 OG praises Herb Hand
Let’s lay out the offensive line facts for Auburn in the 2018 class.
The Tigers already have two OL prospects committed — Kameron Stutts and Jalil Irvin. Auburn continues to evaluate tackles in the class and it would like to add two exterior offensive linemen going forward. All in all, Auburn will aim to add 4-5 offensive linemen in the class, which means there’s the potential for a third interior or third exterior linemen.
Everything I’ve been told has suggested that potential fifth spot will be saved for an interior lineman.
One specific name keeps surfacing: 4-star Trey Hill from Houston County (Ga.), the No. 2 offensive guard in the nation, according to 247Sports composite rankings. He’s not worried that the Tigers already have two interior line commitments.
“It really don’t matter. Wherever you go, you’ve got to compete,” Hill said.
That brings us to the next order of business.
How much realistic interest does Hill have in the Tigers?
It appears the answer to that question should have the Tigers feeling pretty good as Hill embarks on a busy summer of recruitment. Hill hasn’t outlined an official top list of schools yet, but he was asked to dish out an A-grade to the programs that have impressed him. Auburn received a mention there.
Georgia has long been considered the favorite here, but Hill told SEC Country “there’s a lot of schools up there” with the Bulldogs.
Auburn can be considered a legitimate dark horse here. Hill has been interested in the Tigers for a while, but it wasn’t until last summer — after a handful of visits to the Plains previously — that he finally picked up an offer at a summer camp.
Hill’s interest in Auburn never wavered despite the Tigers’ hesitance to offer, which the 4-star offensive lineman admits is a testament to his interest in the program.
“I’ve been up to Auburn; I went like five times before I ever even got the offer. I feel the family-type vibe,” Hill said. “I just like coach [Herb] Hand. He’s a pretty good guy. He’s a great coach. I mean, he’s just a coach that I think I could fit in his program. We’re pretty tight.”
Hill also has a long-standing relationship with another Auburn great.
Montravius Adams has served as a mentor, of sorts, for Hill. The two stay in regular communication, and the topic of Auburn always comes up when doing so. Adams has given Hill a glowing recommendation of his stint at Auburn, and that’s a perspective Hill will take into account as he goes through his decision-making process.
“Plus, you know, Montravius went there,” Hill said. “I communicate with him a little bit. It’s just a great place. His last four years have been the best four years of his life. Of course, he was just in the NFL draft.”
In order for Auburn to make a lasting impression, the Tigers will need to get Hill back on campus this summer. He hasn’t confirmed a trip for Big Cat Weekend on June 3, but if we were using injury-report style to list the chances of Hill on the Plains for that, we’d mark Hill down as “probable.”
Hill and fellow Auburn target Kearis Jackson have talked with one another about potentially being a package deal. Both have been linked to Georgia more often than not, but Auburn remains heavily in the sweepstakes for both.
Joey Gatewood receives high honor
Auburn’s quarterback commit will have the opportunity to silence any and all doubters.
Joey Gatewood has had to deal with critics throughout his entire recruitment. He can’t even start for his high school team. He’d be better as a wide receiver or tight end at the next level. He’s more of an athlete than a quarterback. These are all criticisms — mostly uninformed — that Gatewood has grown tired of since committing to Auburn.
On Monday, he was invited to the Elite 11 camp that helps crown the nation’s top-preforming quarterback in each recruiting cycle.
— Elite11 (@Elite11) May 22, 2017
He’ll have the chance to compete against the nation’s top signal callers and let everyone know that the negativity is unwarranted. It’ll also give him an opportunity, once and for all, to show Auburn that he truly is its go-to guy in the 2018 class, as he’ll go up against some other quarterbacks the Tigers have interest in such as Justin Fields and Emory Jones.
Here’s a full list of all the quarterbacks invited to the Elite 11 camp:
- Gerry Bohanon, uncommitted
- Carter Bradley, uncommitted
- Cammon Cooper, uncommitted
- Matthew Corral, Southern Cal
- Justin Fields, Penn State
- James Foster, Missouri
- Joey Gatewood, Auburn
- Emory Jones, Ohio State
- Dakereon Joyner, uncommitted
- Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
- Devin Leary, North Carolina State
- Jalen Mayden, uncommitted
- Tanner McKee, uncommitted
- Joe Milton, Michigan
- Re-al Mitchell, Iowa State
- Quincy Patterson II, Virginia Tech
- Justin Rogers, uncommitted
- Tyler Shough, uncommitted
- Jacob Sirmon, Washington
- Blake Stenstrom, Colorado
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
- Jack Tuttle, Utah
- Jack West, Stanford
- Jarren Williams, Kentucky
- Colson Yankoff, Washington
The Elite 11 Finals will take place June 2-4 in Los Angeles. That means Gatewood’s calendar will be booked for Big Cat Weekend, so don’t mark down the Auburn commit for recruiting purposes on those dates.
If he makes the top 11, Gatewood will qualify for the Opening Finals, where the Elite 11 quarterbacks will compete for the No. 1 honor.
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