Will Auburn’s 2018 class grow Wednesday night?
It’s been a stagnant few months for Auburn, since receiving a commitment from 3-star 2017 safety Jordyn Peters before the season started. The Tigers might be on the verge of capturing some of the momentum created by Auburn’s on-field product the last few weeks.
Auburn ran the ball at will last week. Maybe that caught the eye of a Tigers recruit at the running back position — 3-star prospect Shaun Shivers from Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Fla.)
Shivers will make his decision Wednesday evening on a local television broadcast in Fort Lauderdale. His pick is expected to come sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. ET. SEC Country has been told Auburn feels good about its chances to land the third commitment in the 2018 class.
The 5-foot-7, 160-pound running back offers legitimate Olympic track speed. He’s been clocked at 10.4 seconds in the 100-meter dash. Shivers is ranked the No. 6 all-purpose back in the country and the 52nd-ranked prospect in the state of Florida.
Assuming a Shivers commitment, Auburn would have three players in the 2018 class, along with quarterback Joey Gatewood and defensive lineman Daquan Newkirk. A Shiver addition would jump Auburn from No. 17 to No. 12 in the team rankings.
Virginia Tech and West Virginia appear to be Auburn’s biggest competition for Shivers.
Auburn-Ole Miss 2017 recruiting battles
The Auburn and Ole Miss staffs likely have seen each other with some regularity on the recruiting trail this cycle. The Tigers and Rebels share similar top priorities on the top of their respective recruiting boards.
Here is a look at five recruiting battles between Auburn and Ole Miss as Saturday’s game approaches.
- 4-star LB KJ Britt: Britt is the top linebacker want for a number of schools: Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia, Stanford and others. Britt has taken trips to Auburn and Ole Miss recently, and the Rebels and Tigers will continue to make late pushes for the Oxford (Ala.) linebacker.
- 4-star DE Isaiah Buggs: Again, this is much more than just an Auburn-Mississippi battle, but the Tigers and Rebels will be in the mix for the top JUCO defensive lineman available. Buggs had Auburn and Ole Miss in his original top 4 and both were included in his revamped list.
- 4-star LB Will Ignont: Another top linebacker from the state of Alabama, Ignont is a tough read. Auburn feels good, but so does LSU and UCLA. Ole Miss was never really a big part of Ingont’s recruitment, but the Rebels have made a late push to get in contention.
- 4-star safety C.J. Avery: The 4-star safety seemed like a lock for one of his in-state schools — Ole Miss or Mississippi State. Auburn, and his family connection to secondary coach Wesley McGriff (Avery’s father played for McGriff at Kentucky State), has made a move for Avery (including an official visit) that has the Tigers feeling good.
- 4-star LB Monty Rice: Alabama linebackers seem to have particular interest in Auburn and Alabama. Rice has an unofficial top 4 of Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss and Florida State. Rice hasn’t set all his official visits, but the Tigers and Rebels could join the mix.
Recruiting in enemy territory
The border state rivalry also has plenty of recruiting implications. There are a number of players on the rosters currently, and a few potential adds in the recruiting class this year that will be an Auburn-Mississippi race to the finish.
Here’s a look at a few of those.
- 4-star LB CJ Avery: As mentioned above, Auburn and Ole Miss — along with Mississippi State — should be considered the favorites for the 4-star safety. Avery remains the only high school prospect from the state of Mississippi remaining that Auburn is chasing heavily.
- 3-star RB Jarrion Street: Street was one of the two Alabama members of the 2016 Ole Miss recruiting class. Auburn never offered Street. In his first season at Ole Miss, Street has worked mostly in a special teams capacity.
- 4-star WR Brandon Martin: So he’s a Texas native, but Martin hails from Mississippi’s rich junior college talent pool. Martin plays at Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. and, at one point, picked Auburn as his college destination. He backed off that pledge rather quickly, but the Tigers still feel good about Martin.
- 3-star QB John Franklin III: He’s Auburn’s most well-known commodity who once played football in the state of Mississippi. Franklin is, against his will, returning to Mississippi for the second time this season, after his junior college career at East Mississippi C.C.
- 3-star safety AJ Harris: Ole Miss has an Alabama product in its 2017 class right now. Harris is a 3-star safety from Madison (Ala.) Auburn hasn’t offered Harris, but he has gotten scholarship opportunities from Florida State and Michigan.
Auburn-Ole Miss 2017 recruiting by the numbers
Here’s a look at some of the specifics regarding the 2017 class for both schools. Auburn finds itself in much more promising position than Ole Miss with a few months to go until Signing Day.
- 14: Auburn’s overall team ranking in 2017
- 56: Ole Miss’ overall team ranking in 2017
- 1: Auburn commits playing in Mississippi this season
- 2: Ole Miss commits playing in Alabama this season
- 0: 5-star commits in the Ole Miss class
- 3.1: Average star rating in Ole Miss 2017 class
- 3.6: Average star rating in Auburn 2017 class