Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we update Auburn’s recruiting board for wide receivers after Shedrick Jackson’s commitment.
Auburn launches WR recruiting with commitment
Shedrick Jackson finally confirmed what many had anticipated for a while: The Hoover (Ala.) wide receiver committed to Auburn.
Jackson unveiled his commitment through a sweet family-themed video (hat tip to AL.com Sports) that linked him to his uncle, Bo Jackson, and his search for his own name. Jackson is listed as the No. 89 wide receiver in the nation, but I’d call it nearly impossible to find 88 wide receivers who can definitively say they’re better than Jackson.
C O M M I T T E D✊🏾
Thankful to have this opportunity! pic.twitter.com/LgvH7Eh3hF
— Shedrick Jackson (@shedrickj85) June 26, 2017
With Jackson’s commitment, Auburn can now take another step forward with wide receiver recruiting. The Tigers are expected to take three — or maybe four — wide receivers in the Class of 2018. As it pertains to those numbers, don’t count athlete commit Kolbi Fuqua in that group. He has the ability to play receiver, but he’s more likely to be a defensive back for the Tigers.
Auburn still has work to do, however.
Here is a look at the Tigers’ remaining options at wide receiver:
- 5-star Justyn Ross, Phenix City (Ala.): There is no question Ross is priority No. 1 for the remainder of this class, regardless of position. Ross has been at Auburn for every major recruiting event, and more. There have been rumors of both an Alabama and Auburn silent commitment, but don’t expect Ross to finalize anything until deeper into his senior season. With Ross as much as anyone, the Tigers’ offensive productivity this fall will be paramount.
- 4-star Jacob Copeland, Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia: Communication has dropped off some with Copeland, who once had Auburn and Florida as his top two. He has since extended that to a top 5 that includes Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Alabama. The Crimson Tide have made a strong late push. The Gators have been recruiting Copeland the longest. If the Tigers have one saving grace, it’s the fact his closest player-coach relationship is with Auburn receiver coach Kodi Burns.
- 4-star Kearis Jackson, Peach Co. (Ga.): Jackson visited most recently for Big Cat Weekend and said the trip gave the Tigers a nice bump. One thing to watch with Jackson is his close friendship with offensive line target Trey Hill. Both players say they want to play together, but the only programs heavily recruiting both are Georgia, Auburn and USC. The Bulldogs are the favorites for Jackson and Hill, but the Tigers can’t be counted out for either.
- 4-star Anthony Schwartz, American Heritage (Fla.): Like Copeland, Schwartz is a Florida-based wide receiver who — for a while — was believed to be choosing between Florida and Auburn. The Gators are the overwhelming favorite for the track star, but Schwartz was blown away by his visit to Auburn earlier in the year. As is the case with many wide receivers, his relationship with Kodi Burns keeps the Tigers in contention here until the end.
- 4-star Seth Williams, Paul W. Bryant (Ala): Once saying Auburn was recruiting him hardest, Williams hasn’t visited the Tigers much this spring. It remains incomprehensible for a prospect from a high school named after Bear Bryant to choose Auburn over Alabama. If the Crimson Tide make a major push, it seems unlikely Williams will land anywhere else. If that doesn’t happen, however, Auburn and Florida State are the most likely landing spots.
- 4-star Matthew Hill, Brookwood (Ga.): Here is the one on the list that seems almost like a guarantee to choose the Tigers. Hill grew up a huge fan of the Tigers and has family with connections to the school. Every time Hill comes to Auburn, he tends to be decked out in more Tigers’ gear than other recruits in attendance. His fandom is real, and it matters. He calls Auburn his leader over LSU, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama. I expect that to be his choice when he decides in late July or early August.
- 4-star Tommy Bush, Samuel Clemens (Texas): This is a newer addition to Auburn’s target list. Bush visited the Tigers for Big Cat Weekend, as part of his weeklong tour through the southeast. The key thing to watch with Bush: Does he return? If Bush makes it back to Auburn, there is some legitimate interest from both sides. He said during Big Cat Weekend it was something he wanted to do, but he visited close to a dozen other schools on the trip, as well.
- 4-star Lawrence Keys III, McDonogh 35 (La.): Keys is teammates with one of Auburn’s top safety targets, Joe Foucha. Keys joined Foucha for Big Cat Weekend and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. Keys still seems like a Louisiana guy that will end up at LSU, but don’t rule out Auburn becoming a factor in this one.
Auburn aces the edit game
The graphic design game — aka edits — have become an integral part of the recruiting process. Programs use internal departments to create eye-catching edits for their top targets. In turn, top targets create eye-catching edits to list their top schools or the program they intend to sign with.
Auburn showed its flare with a few interesting edits to their top prospects. It’s not always a full indication of who the Tigers are recruiting (plus some recruits don’t publicize it), but it gives a small glimpse into who the coaching staff wants the most.
Here is a look at some of the prospects who received the edits.
— Tommy Bush (@TheTommyBush11) June 26, 2017
— 2️⃣0️⃣ (@TheAsaMartin_) June 26, 2017
What if this happened 👀 pic.twitter.com/mI8Wzw8dnt
— 〽️ajor 🔑 (@junior256_) June 26, 2017
Family love❤️💯 pic.twitter.com/h3OlieydG9
— Jalil Irvin. (@only1_lil) June 26, 2017
— JEROME CARVIN7️⃣4️⃣ (@JeromeCarvin) June 26, 2017
AUBURN SHOWING LOVE 👀👀👀❗ pic.twitter.com/6Tgy7UbPlP
— L4TL (@Juanyehthomas1) June 26, 2017
— Kameron stutts (@_BigHomieKam) June 26, 2017
— Shaun Shivers (@V8Blazing) June 26, 2017
— Joey Gatewood (@Joey1gatewood) June 26, 2017
— Tank Jenkins (@_MJ70_) June 26, 2017
— Andres Fox (@AndresLFox9) June 26, 2017
That’s all the ones I was able to dig up. I’m sure there were more. But for those counting at home, the following prospects received one.
- 4-star WR Tommy Bush
- 4-star RB Asa Martin
- 4-star DT Coynis Miller
- 4-star OL Tank Jenkins
- 4-star QB Joey Gatewood
- 4-star OL Jalil Irvin
- 3-star DE Coynis Miller
- 3-star RB Shaun Shivers
- 3-star FS Juanyeh Thomas
- 3-star OL Jerome Carvin
- 3-star DE Andres Fox
- 3-star OL Kameron Stutts