Asa Martin sent shockwaves through the Yellowhammer State on Thursday.
The No. 10 running back in the nation committed to Auburn over Alabama, Clemson and Florida. He announced during a ceremony at his high school in Decatur, Ala., via an AL.com commitment video. Martin becomes the 13th commitment in Auburn’s 2018 recruiting class.
He has said since the spring that scheme fit would be a big influence on his ultimate decision. That ended up being the case, electing to be a part of Chip Lindsey’s offense that is expected to get running backs more involved in the passing game.
“I like the new offense,” Martin told SEC Country. “They threw the ball down the field to the running backs a couple times [in the spring game and practices]. They’re letting guys make plays on the ball like that. I feel like I can catch the ball down the field real well. That’s what really stood out to me.”
Auburn’s move to land Martin wasn’t easy.
When the Tigers offered in the spring, they were on the outside looking in with Florida as the most likely program to land him. But Auburn closed the gap thanks to Martin and his mother’s growing relationship with Lindsey.
Then Alabama offered, which is always a tough pass for a top in-state running back.
But the decision came down to fit and relationships. Whenever Martin started to think about his options, he kept going back to the recruiting relationships he’d created with some of Auburn’s top commits, specifically quarterback Joey Gatewood and freshman safety Jordyn Peters.
Martin saw himself fitting in more comfortably on-field and off-field at Auburn rather than his No. 2 school, Alabama.
“They just contacted me a bunch to come be a part of it,” Martin said. “They think they’re going to do something special, and I think so too. All the guys they have and the guys they have committed, including Joey, I really talk to him a bunch now. I was talking to Jordyn. We both come from this (north Alabama) area. Just going to play at Auburn together would be really fun, really special. I really enjoyed mine and his conversation.”
Martin joins Shaun Shivers as the two running backs in the 2018 class. With Martin’s decision, the Tigers move up to the No. 23 recruiting class in the 247Sports composite. Auburn jumped Louisville, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Baylor, Virginia Tech and Georgia in the team rankings.