Last week, when Will Ignont chose Tennessee, we mentioned it might begin to drop some dominos. KJ Britt appears to be the next one.
That’s not to say Ignont’s decision had any kind of effect on Britt. It didn’t. Britt still has four schools in contention — Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Stanford — and he’s the No. 1 priority at all of those institutions. So Ignont’s choice had no bearing on Britt’s, but Ignont set the tone for decisions to come.
In that sense, Britt is next. The 4-star linebacker out of Oxford (Ala.) will announce his college destination Monday at 3 p.m. ET at his high school.
As mentioned before, it’s down to Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Stanford. So who likes their chances?
Well, honestly, everyone feels somewhat positive about where they stand for Britt. Auburn, especially, has confidence that Britt will land with the Tigers. Britt has been a regular attendee of Auburn games this season, though all visits were unofficial. Other Auburn commits refer to Britt as the “life of the party,” and many of them have mentioned how badly they want Britt to join the 2017 Tigers class.
Also of note: Britt and Auburn commit Tadarian Moultry have a tight bond. Both have fun, extroverted personalities in their own way. Moultry regularly mentions Britt or asks to get his picture taken with Britt during pregame festivities at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The two have long said they’d like to come as a package deal. Let’s face it, Moultry isn’t going anywhere. So, for that to happen, Britt would need to pick Auburn on Monday.
Auburn isn’t the only one that wants Britt badly, however.
Georgia has made a late push. The Bulldogs inched their way to a Britt commitment during the most recent offseason, and when Britt canceled his original decision in August, Georgia and Auburn both thought they might snag the inside linebacker. Ultimately, he elected to see out some of the 2016 football season to determine his best option.
Ole Miss received Britt’s most recent official visit, which could’ve helped and hurt equally. The Rebels fell to Auburn, who scored their fifth-straight victory since dropping below .500 early in the season. Ole Miss has long been believed to be on the outside looking in for Britt, but as mysterious as the linebacker has been through his recruitment, that could’ve been by design.
The wild card of the bunch: the Cardinal. Stanford is the academic institution that gives big-time college football programs nightmares. Britt has strong interest in Stanford and went out to Palo Alto, Calif., earlier in October to check it out. Britt easily has the ACT score necessary to attend Stanford, and he fits right into the mold of what Stanford wants on its roster.
I know Auburn likes where it’s at with Britt. I know the Tigers’ ability to win the last five weeks has helped ease Britt’s concerns with Auburn, if he had any. I think Britt is the best remaining option at linebacker. I think the Tigers want Britt as much or more than any other realistic recruit left on their board.
I also think Auburn will land Britt, but unlike other predictions, don’t consider this anywhere near a guarantee. Britt has done an exemplary job of tuning out the noise during his process, so-to-speak, and focusing on his own high school season. When it comes to his recruitment, he’s as open and honest as anyone, but he’s less likely to make comments or hint in any direction.
That’s what makes the Monday decision such an intriguing one for all four schools still in the hunt.
Like Ignont was a critical domino, Britt will be too. If he chooses Auburn, that will leave room for 1-2 more spots at linebacker, if that’s what the Tigers choose to do. I’ve been told that the three of Chandler Wooten, Moultry and Britt might meet Travis Williams’ needs enough to be satisfied keeping it at that. However, there are still a few options available below that Auburn would like to take a stab at (ordered by how I perceive Auburn’s recruiting board, not necessarily by the Tigers’ chances).
- 4-star LB Nate McBride, Vidalia (Ga.)
- 4-star LB Tyler Taylor, Lanier (Ga.)
- 3-star LB Monty Rice, James Clemens (Ala.)
- 3-star LB De’Andre Wilder, Miami Carol (Fla.)
If Auburn doesn’t land Britt, expect the Tigers to pick up the heat on McBride, who is all but committed to Georgia, it seems. Williams also would rev up his chase for Taylor and Rice. Taylor is a toss-up at this point, but has official visits set to Auburn and Georgia. Rice leans Georgia, but Auburn still remains competitive if the Tigers amp up the chase.
Wider is from the Miami area, and his interest in Auburn has picked up since taking his recent unofficial visit to Jordan-Hare with five family members.
But before the conversation goes there, Auburn hopes to land Britt. Let’s see what the 4-star inside linebacker decides.
I’ve talked about a specific KJ Britt tackle a few times during my Facebook Live broadcasts. Several viewers have requested I drop a link of the video into the comments section or one of my notebooks, so here it is.
Britt, earlier in the season, closed on an opposing running back and — seriously — forced the poor soul to do a backflip at the line of scrimmage. Britt’s hit struck the internet with full force, getting picked up by several high school and recruiting Twitter accounts that unofficially deemed it the “Hit of the Year.”
Here it is.
— AL Recruiting (@AL_Recruiting) August 28, 2016
I bring this up late for two reasons: 1) Britt is committing Monday and 2) If he were pick Auburn, Britt wouldn’t be the only linebacker in the class that de-cleats opponents.
Remember when I said earlier that Britt and Moultry are two peas in a pod off the field? Well, it appears they are two peas in a pod on the football field, too, which might be why Moultry always says how much he wants to play alongside the run-stopping Britt.
In his most recent game, Moultry tried to do his best Britt impression. And, well, he did a pretty good job of it. The Auburn linebacker commit tortured one of his opponents with a pad-smashing tackle.
Check it out below, from a couple angles.
— Drew Champlin (@DrewChamplin) October 28, 2016
— Playaristix (@jr_shipp) October 28, 2016
If Auburn snags Britt, opposing playmakers better keep their heads on a swivel.
Auburn makes top 5 for elite safety
This was only a matter of time, as Devon Hunter hinted to SEC Country before the Auburn-Arkansas game.
Hunter is the No. 44 overall player in the nation, a safety from Indian River High School (Va.). The 4-star safety released his top 5 schools Sunday, and it matched up with what most expected — Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Auburn.
Virginia Tech has long been considered the favorite for Hunter, and 89 percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions point in that direction. Of course, 11 percent is in favor of Clemson, which didn’t make the top 5 list.
— Devon Hunter (@devonhunter11) October 31, 2016
Hunter’s quickly-formed relationship with Auburn secondary coach Wesley McGriff has helped the Tigers’ chances. In my opinion, and this is strictly opinion, Hunter would be a surprise land for Auburn. With that said, the possibility seems much more realistic now than it did a couple months ago.
This will be an extended process, but it’s one Auburn fans will want to keep a close eye on. Hunter defines the word “elite,” and Auburn would love to have him — and 4-star safety C.J. Avery from Grenada (Miss.) — despite already having two safeties committed in the 2017 class.