Auburn’s footprint was all over the Nike Opening camp in Atlanta — and it was a big one.
The Tigers had multiple recruiting targets awarded position MVPs or invited to the national Opening in Oregon later this year. Justyn Ross, Channing Tindall, Bo Nix, Richard Jibunor, Chris Smith and JJ Peterson were all Auburn-related targets recognized at the conclusion of the camp.
On top of that, several top performers placed Auburn at or near the top of their respective recruiting leaderboards. SEC Country interviews from the event led to plenty of scoops. Check it out below along with a camp photo gallery at the bottom.
4-star safety Quindarious Monday
Monday was impressive at the Opening.
He emerged as a vocal leader in most of the agility drills and participated with some of the top defenses in the 7-on-7 challenges. Monday has Auburn as his leader right now with Florida and Florida State. He said Kevin Steele and Greg Brown have made him a top priority. Monday is a big-time prospect to watch for Auburn.
Of note: he was wearing Florida gloves at the camp, though he said it was meant to keep people guessing.
4-star running back Asa Martin
Martin recently visited Florida, and the Gators shocked him.
They immediately leapt to the favorite to land the running back prospect from Decatur, Ala. Auburn and Michigan file in closely behind Florida, but Martin is certainly very high on the Gators. He doesn’t have a plan to decide imminently, instead opting to make a calculated decision.
Auburn’s in-state pull matters, Martin said.
4-star wide receiver Justyn Ross
Ross said Jarrett Stidham is a quarterback who he thinks can “really sling it,” which helps Auburn’s chances. He confirmed Auburn and Alabama are battling the hardest for the in-state prospect. Ross admitted it would be tough to leave the state, but he’s nowhere near a decision, and several out-of-state schools remain contenders.
He said his current plan is to commit on National Signing Day, which means two things: 1) There is plenty of time remaining 2) Ross likely won’t be an early enrollee.
4-star defensive end Brenton Cox
Cox, the No. 54-ranked prospect in the nation, enjoyed the Auburn visit with his teammate Marquez Ezzard over the weekend. Their high school coach spoke at the coaching clinic, which helped secure the visit for Auburn.
Cox raved about Rodney Garner’s direct coaching style, but said Georgia and Ohio State stand out right now.
4-star wide receiver Kearis Jackson
Jackson, wearing Georgia gloves during the camp, has been at Georgia and Auburn recently.
He went to Georgia this weekend. Jackson checked out Auburn three weeks ago. He wants to go see more spring practices to get a better feel for coaching styles and passing game development. Jackson said Kodi Burns has been quite vocal about his wish to land Jackson.
4-star safety Brendon Harris
Harris said Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson, Mississippi State and Florida are recruiting him most regularly, but he has no decision timeline. Harris hasn’t been to Auburn since the Alabama A&M game last November. He expects that to change soon. When it does, he firmly believes Auburn is as much in the thick of things as any other program.
Harris talks with area recruiter Tim Horton often, including an Opening pep talk over the phone Sunday before the camp.
4-star wide receiver Seth Williams
Williams doesn’t plan to decide in the near future. Despite the strong Tuscaloosa influence (he attends Paul W. Bryant High School in Cottondale, Ala.), Williams said Auburn has actually impressed him lately, thanks to his relationship with Kodi Burns.
He doesn’t have any kind of top lists, though Alabama and Florida State are the most likely landing spots.
A little player analysis here: Williams doesn’t always look like the shiftiest wide receiver when he’s running routes, but he might have the best hands in the class. Anything that comes Williams’ way, he’s hauling it in.
4-star offensive line commit Jalil Irvin
Irvin still has other top programs chasing him despite being committed to Auburn. Ohio State, Mississippi State, LSU and Florida all have been in regular contact since his commitment. Irvin is staying cordial with those schools — and might even consider official visits elsewhere — but he’s all Auburn.
His biggest recruiting target right now is 4-star offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum, who Irvin has been best friends with since middle school.
3-star linebacker Channing Tindall
Tindall — the star of The Opening — called Georgia, South Carolina and Florida his primary schools right now, but he’s eager to return to the Plains. He was on the Plains for the first junior day of the year. Tindall attends the same high school Travis Williams went to in South Carolina.
A Clemson offer would go a long way with Tindall, too.
Except this rising star back at Auburn soon. That bond with Williams, which Tindall said is as strong as any coaching relationship, will be the Tigers’ best chance.
4-star wide receiver Matthew Hill
Hill, also wearing Georgia gloves, will “definitely decide before the season.” Relationships with coaching staffs and academic offerings will be key. Hill hasn’t begun to narrow in on options, but said Auburn, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee are recruiting him the hardest.
Hill said his relationship with Kodi Burns is a particularly close one. This is a perfect example where Burns’ youth will help tremendously.
4-star athlete Nathaniel Watson
Watson worked as a receiver at the camp, but he wants to play offense and defense. That’s what he does at the high school level. Many college programs continue to evaluate Watson at multiple positions — on both sides of the ball.
Auburn knows what it wants. The Tigers are recruiting him as a safety-linebacker hybrid. Most of his communication goes through Kevin Steele and Greg Brown, but Travis Williams and Rodney Garner are involved in the process, as well.
Watson said Auburn leads with the Mississippi schools close behind.
3-star running back Harold Joiner
Joiner has a clear-cut top two of Auburn and LSU. LSU is pushing slightly harder of late. He expects to visit Georgia soon, which could be a game-changer. Joiner wants to decide in early January, but he’s still not sure whether he’ll be able to enroll early.
He has mentioned potential slot receiver options in the past, but Joiner said Sunday that Auburn and LSU are both pitching him as a running back only.
4-star defensive tackle Coynis Miller
Miller didn’t participate in many reps at The Opening, but he left that event to go to Auburn until early Wednesday morning. There will be more specifics from Miller later in the week, but he continues to shop Alabama, Auburn and several out-of-state programs.
4-star 2019 quarterback Bo Nix
Nix grew up an Auburn fan. His dad Patrick Nix has a fantastic Auburn reputation. Auburn was one of the first schools to show interest in the impressive 2019 quarterback.
With that said, he refers to his approach as “laid back” for now and admitted programs like Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia can still compete for him.
From a talent standpoint, Nix just became the first underclassman to win the Atlanta Opening quarterback MVP. It came against Ohio State quarterback commit Emory Jones and others. It was an impressive showing for a guy who is believed to be an Auburn lean.
4-star 2019 offensive lineman Pierce Quick
Quick, a 2019 offensive line target, isn’t anywhere near a decision, but he has major love for Auburn. He particularly likes Herb Hand, the man, as well as his coaching style. Alabama and Auburn are the likeliest landing spots, but he will do his due diligence.
Quick and Auburn signee Noah Igbinoghene are close friends. Quick said Igbinoghene has made it clear he wants his Hewitt-Trussville teammate to end up at Auburn, but the wide receiver signee has done more to feed Quick the truth about all the schools and the recruiting process as a whole.
Here’s a collection of the best remaining photos from the Atlanta Opening regional, courtesy of SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner and Benjamin Wolk.