Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Sunday, and SEC Country spoke with tight end Tyler Fromm, brother of Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, and broke down the team’s tight end situation. Also, Auburn cracked the top group for a few targets.
Brother of SEC quarterback outlines Auburn visits
AUBURN, Ala. — Tyler Fromm knows what the narrative will be around his recruitment.
He’s the younger brother of Georgia sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm. The younger Fromm, a rising 2019 tight end, has seen the recruiting process happen before with his brother. He knows it will be rare (this post is guilty of it) for his name to be mentioned separately from his brother’s.
But Tyler also knows his situation won’t be much like his brother. Jake was committed — technically twice — by March 2016. It wasn’t until late December and early spring that Tyler’s recruitment really started to take off. Jake was a top-50 prospect early on his recruitment and stayed that way. Tyler ranks No. 929 right now and will have to work his way up those recruiting rankings, which he’ll likely do.
Tyler won’t pay attention to those differences, however. He’ll focus on the here and now — and the fact his recruitment is taking off when he wasn’t sure if it would.
“It’s a blessing to have this happen to me. I didn’t think it would happen like this. It kinda just came out of nowhere. Really, shoot, after South Carolina offered in the middle of December. After that, it took about a month and a half before it really took off from there,” Fromm told SEC Country. “We haven’t really narrowed down everything, but the recruitment has really blown up. It’s still just searching for the right place for me.”
Fromm has landed offers from South Carolina, Wake Forest, Maryland, Colorado State, Southern Cal, Florida, Ole Miss and Auburn since December.
He’s started the visit tour this spring with a trio of SEC schools.
Fromm has visited South Carolina twice and Florida once. He’s been to Auburn twice in the last month. Fromm visited once with his family for a junior day at the beginning of March. He returned solo on Friday to spend some personal time with Tigers coaches Gus Malzahn, Chip Lindsey and Larry Porter.
The growing relationship between Fromm and Auburn coaches is a strong one.
“Just wanted to talk to the coaches again. We just talked ball and everything. The coaches really liked me. I like them a lot. I just really enjoy being around them,” Fromm said. “They just need a guy to throw to. The thing they’ve been making clear to me is just they don’t have too many guys recently who they could do that with. That’s pretty much it. They just need someone like me.”
Fromm isn’t rushing toward a decision.
He wants to wait it out a little bit to see if any other programs plan to offer him. Fromm has communicated with a few others. He also wants to make more return visits to the places he has already been, including Auburn.
This will be a patient decision for the 6-foot-4 tight end.
“I don’t want to just get it out of the way and make the wrong decision. I’ll wait until the right time when I’m ready to commit,” he said.
Breaking down Auburn’s tight end recruiting situation
As I’ve written in the past, here are the four tight ends Auburn has keyed in on so far this spring:
- Jackson Lowe, Cartersville, Ga.
- Luke Deal, Greenwood, S.C.
- Tyler Fromm, Warner Robins, Ga.
- Sean Brown, Rome, Ga.
There’s a lot of overlap among programs chasing these four. Auburn had all three at or near the top of its board, but similar things can be said for Tennessee and Clemson. That has created a looming domino effect at tight end in the 2019 class.
The first domino fell on Friday when Lowe committed to Tennessee.
That would seem like positive news for Auburn since Tennessee is also at the top for Brown. But the Volunteers plan to take two tight ends in the 2019 class, a source told SEC Country, which leaves a spot open for Brown if he’s interested. This is an Auburn-Tennessee battle, and Brown set a date shortly after Lowe’s announcement. Brown will make his decision May 12. Expect to see both programs recruit Brown hard the next month.
Fromm’s full update is written above, and he’s likely to make his decision after Brown and Deal.
Deal is the interesting one here because he’s long been tabbed to land in Clemson’s class. He’s from South Carolina, so those Tigers will be in it until the end. Auburn will try to stay involved. Deal visited the Plains once already this spring, and he plans to be back. He’s likely taking his official visits during the spring. Auburn will receive one of those, a source confirmed to SEC Country.
It could be a busy few months for those tight ends — and the programs recruiting them.
Auburn cracks several top schools lists
It’s the time of year when top prospects start, at the very least, narrowing down their top options.
Most prospects recruited by a place like Auburn hold offers from dozens of programs across the country. Creating top schools lists to hone in on certain programs has become a common practice. The springtime is the typical time to publicly announce those schools still strongly in consideration.
These lists don’t always hold up. Take 5-star linebacker Owen Pappoe, for instance, who has Auburn as his No. 2 school now after not putting the Tigers in his original top 3. But it’s a strong indication of where a recruit’s mind is at. It’s not always worth a separate story — though SEC Country had a full breakdown of running back John Emery’s top-list interest — so here’s an opportunity to lay out five newly-announced top groups that included Auburn.
Four are from the 2019 class and one is from the 2020 cycle.
- RB John Emery, top 8: Auburn, LSU, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Southern Cal.
- WR Ramel Keyton, top 6: Ohio State, Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, Auburn and Ole Miss.
- WR Devonta Lee, top 12: Auburn, Miami, Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Florida and Florida State.
- OL Amari Kight, top 10: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
- 2020 DT Jamil Burroughs, top 6: Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Auburn.
Here’s how I’d rank Auburn’s chances with the four 2019 prospects, from mostly likely to least likely: Emery, Kight, Keyton and Lee.
Auburn LB target commits to Texas, but Tigers won’t quit
De’Gabriel Floyd is a bit of an unknown among the Auburn fan base. He’s a big deal nationally, however.
The 4-star LB from Westlake Village, Calif., has earned more than two dozen offers from programs across the country. In early March, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect named a top 7 of Auburn, Oregon, UCLA, Georgia, Florida, Arizona State and Texas. Floyd committed to the Longhorns on Saturday, expediting his process much sooner than expected.
Auburn viewed Floyd as a long shot, but I’m also told the Tigers won’t give up on the nation’s No. 4 linebacker just because of his commitment.
One source told me Floyd’s sister who attends college in Alabama recently swung by the Auburn athletics complex for her own personal visit. It was a fact-finding mission and a chance for at least one member of the Floyd family to report back on what the program had to offer. That shows there is at least some deeper interest from Floyd than simply putting the Tigers on his list.
Since Floyd committed, I’ve been told Auburn still plans to get him on campus for a visit. It wouldn’t be surprising to see linebackers coach Travis Williams to head out west when coaches are allowed to make off-campus visits. Again, this is a long shot, but it’s still something Auburn will work on before it feels its chances are completely exhausted.
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