Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Tuesday, and SEC Country breaks down the best of the best among Auburn’s 2018 commits on defense.
Best name: 4-star safety Quindarious Monday
Quidarious is a dope first name. Monday is a dope last name. And it makes for an extra dope combination.
Monday has the swagger to go along with the cool name. I almost made Monday’s superlative “Most Likely to Draw Neon Deion Comparisons,” but every class needs a best name. Quindarious Monday is exactly that.
Funniest commitment moment: 4-star DT Coynis Miller
For some context, check out this video.
— DaRon Arrington (@CoachArrington) October 14, 2017
Coynis Miller committed to Auburn over Alabama and Florida a couple weeks ago. In doing so, it made for a funny moment between Miller, his mom (a huge Auburn fan) and his dad (a huge Alabama fan).
As you can see in the video, Dad wasn’t too happy with the idea of his son playing for the Tigers. He shook his head numerous times after seeing his son put on the Auburn hat in the video. Meanwhile, Mom made sure to throw salt in the wound. She took an Auburn hat and waved it in Dad’s face, which received humorous reactions from everyone in the audience.
At the end, Miller’s father had many gracious and proud things to say about his son’s commitment. But it made for a memorable commitment moment.
Coolest journey: 3-star DL Daquan Newkirk
Daquan Newkirk hasn’t had the easiest road to Auburn.
He’s tried once before and had to take the long way home. Newkirk originally committed to Auburn in the Class of 2016, but he wasn’t able to qualify academically, which forced him to go the junior college route.
I won’t get into all the specifics now, but you can check out my in-depth feature here.
He has become a standout defensive lineman for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. And, through everything, Newkirk has stayed firmly committed to Auburn. Likewise, Auburn has stayed firmly committed to Newkirk.
It’s a pretty cool story.
Biggest fan: 3-star ATH Josh Marsh
Matthew Hill grew up a big fan of Auburn, as did (obviously) Shedrick Jackson. But Josh Marsh might be the biggest of the bunch.
He grew up coming to Auburn games and watching the Tigers virtually every Saturday. That’s why, when Auburn offered out of nowhere at a camp, Marsh didn’t need much time to think things over. Auburn had always been the school he’d wanted to go to as a football player. All he needed was the opportunity.
Once he received that chance, it took Marsh about 10 seconds to let the staff know he was ready to commit. That’s the sign of a true fan.
Biggest sleeper: 3-star ATH Kolbi Fuqua
Kolbi Fuqua isn’t often talked about in this class. It may not always be that way.
Fuqua is one of the lower-ranked prospects, but I think he has some of the best upside in the Class 0f 2018. He plays for a middle-of-nowhere high school, so not many scouts have been able to check out Fuqua’s full ability. That didn’t stop Auburn from catching on and persuading him to commit early in the recruiting cycle.
Fuqua is a state-caliber long jumper and high jumper. He also has SEC ability as a receiver, safety and returner. I expect him to play safety for Auburn, and based on the need at the position, Fuqua could end up being one of the most unexpected early contributors.
Class clown: 4-star LB Michael Harris
Michael Harris is a character. He’s always smiling. He’s always cracking jokes at other recruits. He’s always having fun with coaches.
Sometimes he doesn’t always enjoy doing media interviews, but sometimes that’s when his class clown status is at its best.
A perfect example came after the Mercer game when Harris visited. As he left, and reporters tried to do an interview, he jokingly asked what he could possibly say to reporters that would give them a newsworthy enough story to write. Besides, he just wanted to go back and enjoy some relaxation time at the dorms.
Ultimately, he agreed to the interview and grabbed the audio recorder to shout into it to make sure reporters would end up hearing what a great time he had and how great he thought the Auburn defense was playing.
It was a funny moment from a very funny guy.
Favorite to interview: 4-star safety Jamien Sherwood
There’s something special about Jamien Sherwood. I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is, but he’s not like your average high school recruit.
From a reporter’s perspective, Sherwood is great.
He’s always responsive when I reach out about his high school game or his visit plans. Before he committed, he never had a problem talking with me on the phone to make sure I was as informed as possible about his decision-making process. When he committed, he was willing to give me the scoop a few days before so I could provide full coverage on his commitment.
On top of all that, he just thinks differently and answers differently than most people, not just recruits. He has a mature perspective on life that will serve him well down the line as countless other nosy reporters ask him questions in his career.
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