AUBURN, Ala. — KJ Britt didn’t need any validation that Auburn was the place for him. He got it anyways, just in case.
Auburn’s most-recent commitment took his official visit six days after choosing the Tigers in a Halloween-themed video. The inside linebacker from Oxford (Ala.) has been a regular attendee at Jordan-Hare Stadium the past two seasons.
For him, the official visit was just another weekend at “home.”
RELATED: Why KJ Britt chose Auburn
“It was still the same, same people. Just a little bit more privileges, like going to the coaches’ houses and stuff,” Britt said. “It’s the same things. It’s the same people. … That’s why I’m committed. Consistency was key, so that’s why I’m here.”
Few things changed for Britt now that he’s officially committed. Sure, he got some more exaggerated hugs and hellos from coaches and players this time around, but the experiences and relationships remain the same.
The biggest difference: Britt’s role.
For months, Britt has been priority No. 1. Now that he’s on board, he’s quickly transitioning to No. 1 recruiter. He spent some time with a few 2018 and 2019 recruits during the pregame festivities, and Britt will be a key vocal helper in attempts to land 2017 prospects such as Tyler Taylor, Devon Hunter, C.J. Avery and Jeremiah Holloman.
Once the recruited, Britt now is the recruiter.
“Let’s get this class rolling now. Let’s get it going,” he said. “We’ve got some targets to go after to try to get this thing going.”
Some of the 2017 class won’t even be decided when Britt officially arrives on campus as an Auburn student-athlete.
Britt plans to enroll in January, which will give him a head start on the rest of his classmates. He might even be able to make it to Auburn in time to participate in bowl practices, depending on the date.
“It’s going to be big. Try to show them what I got,” Britt said. “I know they know some of the capabilities of what I can do, but it’ll be different, seeing it on the practice field. Coming down and practicing, do what I do.”
Auburn in contention for former Miami CB commit
Auburn hopes a few Miami connections help land Chris Henderson.
The 4-star cornerback took his official visit to the Plains over the weekend to catch the Vanderbilt game. Henderson has visited Auburn on a couple occasions, but the Vanderbilt matchup showed him what a game day atmosphere can be like at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“The game was a great atmosphere,” Henderson said. “It was better than I expected, being that it was Vanderbilt. … It was a great visit. I got to hang out with the players and coaches, really experience how it is.”
Henderson spent a lot of his time with secondary coach Wesley McGriff. But his interactions and conversations with some of the current defensive backs on the roster could prove the most vital.
Carlton Davis and Jeremiah Dinson are both members of the Auburn defensive backfield who originate from the Miami area. That hometown connection was a centerpiece of conversation this weekend.
That will help the Tigers.
“It’s very big. They got to tell me how they really felt about it, and I know they came where I come from,” Henderson said. “I can relate a lot.”
Auburn has chased Henderson for a while now. That won’t change. The Tigers will have to compete with Miami, Florida and Georgia. Henderson was once committed to the Hurricanes.
He will play in the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 1 and has considered making his commitment on that date.
The official visit to Auburn put the Tigers in good shape.
“They’ve moved up a lot. It’s a lot better than I expected,” Henderson said. “I just like how calm it is and how good the people are.”
Tigers offer in-state WR
Still receiver-less in 2017, Auburn is making its move for an in-state wideout.
Noah Igbinoghene, a 3-star receiver from Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.), picked up an offer Saturday while attending the Vanderbilt game. He has been on offer watch for quite some time now. Igbinoghene already held offers from Notre Dame, Duke, Virginia Tech and recently added Ole Miss.
The Fighting Irish have already received an official visit.
— Noah Igbinoghene (@Noah_Igbo9) November 5, 2016
The Tigers aren’t in desperate need at wide receiver, but they would like to add at least two in the Class of 2017. Auburn still figures to be the favorite for junior college prospect Brandon Martin who was once committed to Auburn.
Igbinoghene has been under the radar, but the Auburn offer was in-waiting for a while. Now that it’s here, the proximity appears to have changed his recruiting landscape a bit.
“The Auburn offer means a lot to me, especially with it being in-state,” he told Rivals.com‘s Jeffrey Lee. “It changes things up. It definitely gives me something to think about because it’s close to home and my family would get to watch me play.”
3-star CB picks Tennessee over Auburn
With one defensive back on campus, Auburn whiffed on another who made an out-of-the-blue commitment Saturday night.
Shawn Shamburger, the 3-star CB from Colquitt County (Ga.), snubbed Auburn when he announced via Twitter on Saturday night that he was picking the Volunteers. Shamburger held an Auburn offer — and a few Group of 5 offers — for a while.
He just received the Tennessee offer and an Ole Miss offer earlier in the week. Apparently he saw and heard enough from the Volunteers coaching staff to pull the trigger.
— UNSTOPPABLE2️⃣〽️ (@datboishawn21) November 6, 2016
An Alabama native, Auburn always seemed to be the favorite to land Shamburger. Midway through his 2016 football season, Shamburger said this: “I don’t think there’s too much out there that could put someone over Auburn. There’s some schools that could be up there, but it’d hard to top them.”
Tennessee gained some pretty serious ground in the peculiar announcement. It gives the Volunteers 27 commits in their current class, which adds some clutter there. Auburn has much more space, but the Tigers’ push for Shamburger seemed to be a tame one.
Shamburger told SEC Country he still plans to officially visit Auburn. That means the Tigers still have a chance with the 3-star cornerback if they want it.
Something to think about, however: Shamburger de-committed from Louisiana-Lafayette after receiving his Auburn offer. It’s not that it never happens, but a double de-commitment is rare. By deciding on the Volunteers now, Shamburger might be out of the running for good.