If you’re a rabid recruiting reader, you’re well aware of Malcolm Askew’s efforts on behalf of the Auburn family.
As recently as the Tuesday notebook, a Tigers defensive back target praised Askew’s innate ability to sell the program on the Plains. The 4-star ATH from McAdory (Ala.) is all Auburn all the time, and he’s attended the first two games of the season in Jordan-Hare Stadium, doing his part with other recruits in attendance.
He won’t be at the Texas A&M game Saturday, however. Because like most recruits, he wants to thoroughly investigate his options and always prepare for a backup plan — not that he has any intention of needing one.
But that’s why Askew wants to take a West Coast trip to visit Cal on Saturday for the matchup with Texas (can’t blame someone for wanting to check that one out). Do the Bears have a chance to lure him away from Auburn?
— Malcolm Askew® ? (@MacAskew4) September 12, 2016
“I doubt it. It’s possible. That’s why I’m taking the official, because of the little possibility,” Askew said. “But just because I’ve been to so many other places and it wasn’t really any difference for me with Auburn, I feel it’s unlikely. But I’m going to take it and see what happens.”
Cal is an interesting one. It’s a program that’s popped up more regularly of late. It’s not too surprising. Jared Goff went No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. A southeast standout with a full house of SEC offers, Demetris Robertson made the move to the Pacific Northwest, too.
The Bears are reaching out of their usual territory. The university’s academic clout grabs everyone’s attention, and the potential for recruits to make a visit they wouldn’t normally get to make is appealing.
“They’re a program that’s kind of shot up there in the national spotlight. They haven’t really been in the spotlight. They’re actually recruiting more nationally than they were before,” Askew said. “That’s why I’m giving them a look, get a different feeling for things than just the schools over here in the southeast.”
Cal wants Askew as an offensive player, and he pointed to the Bears’ stout Pac-12 reputation offensively. That’s a major draw. But it would still something special, something Askew hasn’t seen at the dozens of other schools his visited.
Askew still stays in communication with TCU, Oklahoma and Miami. Elsewhere, he’s shut virtually everything down because he knows the feeling he gets at Auburn is far superior to those locations.
He might try to take trips to those three, but for now, he’s all Auburn all the time — with a weekend in California, just in case.
“If I get out to Cal, or go to another school and take an official, if it’s a place where I see Auburn doesn’t have something, and they have more than Auburn has to offer, if it’s a place that’s better than Auburn, then, of course, if I think it’s better than Auburn, then I know it’s the right place for me,” Askew said. “Obviously, I’m committed to Auburn because I feel like that’s the right place.”
Interestingly, linebacker commit Tadarian Moultry also told SEC Country he’d have interest in visiting Cal. Moultry and Askew are both about as firm of commitments as it gets right now.
In my opinion, a trip to Cal is a wise, fun backup plan.
Why 4-star ATH commit is taking Nebraska visit
Alaric Williams is another Auburn 4-star ATH commit that wants to play it safe.
He took in the Clemson game Sept. 3 and has been one of the most impressive performers of the class to start the 2016 high school season, though a minor knee injury has kept Williams off the field the last few weeks.
Williams, who has been committed to the Tigers for 13 months, will take an official visit to Nebraska on Saturday, as the Cornhuskers take on Oregon.
“It doesn’t really change much. You just have to keep your options open and be smart about it,” Williams told SEC Country. “You know, it doesn’t really change much.”
Williams admitted he hears the chatter about coaching job security, as premature as it may be this early in the season. He doesn’t buy into it. None of the recruits who hear those things have, as far as they’ve told me.
But Williams, like Askew, wants to have a plan B if necessary. Nebraska appears to be that school for Williams.
“Right now, I just talk to Nebraska, honestly,” Williams said. “I have schools trying to talk to me. I try to show no interest, though.”
Williams draws similarities between Auburn and Nebraska. His relationship with the coaches — coach Reggie Davis and coach Rhett Lashlee and coach Tim Horton at Auburn — runs deep.
His repeated mention of the importance of coaching bond should tell all.
5-star rival commit will be on the Plains
News hit Tuesday that the No. 5 recruit in the nation Alex Leatherwood will be at the Auburn-Texas A&M matchup Saturday. The biggest appeal for Auburn fans, aside from the obvious strength he’d add to the team? He’s committed to Alabama.
This shouldn’t be a “get your hopes up moment” for the Tigers.
Leatherwood returns to Auburn with Tigers offensive line commit Nick Brahms. Both go to high school in the Florida Panhandle. Leatherwood, the No. 2 offensive line prospect in the country, seems to just be thinking about enjoying a Saturday with a friend.
There has been a rare, mysterious departure of a few Alabama commits (not rare for recruiting, just rare for the Crimson Tide) in this class — the same could be said for transfers. So, anytime an Alabama commit goes anywhere now, it’s going to draw over-attention.
This doesn’t really fall into that category. But Auburn will do its best Saturday, nonetheless.