Jordan-Hare Stadium will be loaded with big-time recruits Saturday.
With Auburn and Clemson facing off, many of the nation’s best high school prospect will arrive in town to get an early season look at a pair of teams high on several players’ lists. We’ll take a deeper look at those attendees Friday.
This time around, however, we want to have a little fun and assess Auburn’s remaining openings in the 2017 class. Who will sign with Auburn? Who will spurn the Tigers?
Consider this the Mock Auburn Class 1.0 — the first of many to come between now and Signing Day. We’ll aim to do this on the first of the month, every month until Signing Day.
A couple things to consider:
- As it stands, Auburn has 14 commitments in the 2017 class that ranks No. 14 in the national rankings. The Tigers will shoot for about 25, so that leaves 11 spots available.
- For the sake of these projections, we won’t assume an de-commitments. That rarely is the case on the high school recruiting landscape, and while some athletes seem more likely candidates than others, we won’t make any assumptions. We’ll let those decisions (and news items) happen when they happen.
- All position totals are based on what recruits have communicated, Auburn’s history at certain positions and areas of need for the Tigers. Auburn’s recruiting staff doesn’t put its big board in front of me, nor should they, so these are all educated approximations.
- Recruits with (*) next to their names are committments.
- 4-star ATH Tray Bishop*, Terrell County (Dawson, Ga.): Bishop has made it clear he wants his shot at quarterback. Coaches have replicated his deserved opportunity in conversations with Bishop. While Auburn wants to add a second quarterback, Bishop has shown in his first two games his senior season that he has quarterback potential at the Division I level.
- Baylor transfer QB Jarrett Stidham: Stidham will attend Auburn-Clemson, yet another visit for the Baylor transfer. It looks to be a two-team race for Stidham — Auburn vs. Texas A&M. Stidham liked Auburn out of high school, and he’s been on campus multiple times. Auburn should like its chances.
Running back (3)
- 4-star ATH Alaric Williams*, Southside School (Gadsden, Ala.): Williams could play a position other than running back, but that’s what he plays in high school, what he wants to play in college and what he does very, very well. Auburn’s best chance to hold onto him is to assure him a running back spot.
- 4-star ATH Devan Barrett*, Tampa Catholic (Fla.): Barrett is another one of Auburn’s committed blue-chip running backs. He begins his senior season this week, his first high school game since joining Auburn’s class.
- 3-star ATH Octavius Matthews*, Itawamba C.C.: Matthews joins the established running back group as the only member of the bunch from the junior college ranks. It does seem like a pretty cluttered running back commit list given Auburn’s four underclassmen on the roster.
- This one doesn’t need much explaining, does it?
Wide receiver (2)
- 4-star WR Brandon Martin, Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.: Martin has Auburn as his favorite, and the Tigers need him. As of now, Auburn is absent a wide receiver commitment. Martin has multiple Mississippi Gulf Coast teammates interested in Auburn too, so this could be a useful get if it happens sooner rather than later. Martin will be at the Auburn-Clemson game.
- 4-star WR Nico Collins, Clay-Chalkville (Ala.): Collins is probably a Georgia lean right now. But Auburn is supposed to be the one poaching the neighbor-state talent, not vice versa, right? With zero commits at the position, Auburn will probably chase Collins harder down the stretch. Henry Ruggs III will be an in-state battle, but SEC Country colleague Chris Kirschner seems confident he’ll end up with the Tide.
Tight end (1)
- 3-star TE Kurt Rafdal, Carmel (Ind.): Rafdal will use one of his officials Saturday in Auburn. The Tigers are amidst a battle with his home-state Hoosiers for the 6-foot-7, 230-pound tight end’s talents. Some commits have mentioned 3-star TE Tre’ McKitty — an Oregon commit — as a potential flip because of proximity to home (he’s from the Tampa, Fla., area). However, in the spirit of no de-commitment projections, we’ll leave it at Auburn landing Rafdal.
Offensive line (4)
- 5-star OT Calvin Ashley*, St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.): It looks like a collegiate name, but it’s a high school. Ashley, on the other hand, is a full-blown college talent. He’s Auburn’s highest-rated player in the 247Sports rankings, and he’ll likely enter the class as such.
- 4-star OT Austin Troxell*, Madison Academy (Ala.): Chalk down Auburn for this committed offensive lineman. Also mark him down as another top recruit that will be in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
- 4-star OG Nick Brahms*, Navarre (Fla.): Brahms suffered a knee injury prior to his senior season. He’s still firm Auburn, and the Tigers have returned their commitment to Brahms as well. Brahms makes up the third of the three offensive linemen already on the 2017 commitment list.
- 3-star OT D’Marcus Hayes, Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.: This fourth lineman spot — and there’s a chance Auburn adds a fifth — could go a variety of directions. Hayes and another JUCO lineman Jordan Agasiva are the two most likely bets. Sticking with the Mississippi Gulf Coast theme, Auburn will be hard after Martin and the Tigers’ presence for games might help lure in the big man.
Defensive line (2)
- 4-star DE Ryan Johnson, St. Paul’s Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.): Johnson will be one of many in an Iron Bowl battle for a top recruit. The difference between Auburn and Alabama? The Tigers don’t have any player committed at the position. Johnson is 71 percent Auburn in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
- 3-star DT Tyrone Truesdell, Laney (Augusta, Ga.): Truesdell might be below LaBryan Ray and Markaviest Bryant on Auburn’s wish list, but those two look like Alabama and Georgia leans, respectively. Truesdell is a solid backup plan, if that’s even what he is. At 6-foot-3 and 325 pounds, Truesdell would be another big body on an already-huge defensive line.
- 4-star ILB Tadarian Moultry*, Jackson-Olin (Birmingham, Ala.): Moultry makes up two of the linebackers already committed. Moultry has his sights set on others in the class that he wants to play alongside him.
- 3-star OLB Chandler Wooten*, North Cobb (Kennesaw, Ga.): Wooten will be at the Auburn-Clemson game, likely doing his part to recruit the other members of the linebacker class. Wooten and Moultry have their favorites to join them, and many of those targets will be at the game as well.
- 4-star ILB KJ Britt, Oxford (Ala.): This is the No. 1 member of the wish list, for the commits at least. Virtually everyone in the class name-dropped Britt as their top target. Britt will have a tough decision between Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. All three schools have him high on the list, but expect Britt to find himself in Auburn next fall.
- 4-star ILB Will Ignont, Buckhorn (New Market, Ala.): Truthfully, all sorts of things could happen here. If Britt doesn’t join the class, it could be Tyler Taylor or Monty Rice. Auburn might even choose to go with five linebackers. But the most sure thing of the bunch, it seems, is Ignont landing at the school within an hour driving distance from his high school.
- 4-star ATH Malcolm Askew*, McAdory (McCalla, Ala.): Askew, the vocal leader of the class, plays multiple positions at the high school level. He fits in as a cornerback at the college level, and that’s where Auburn coaches have told him he’ll play.
- 3-star ATH JaTarvious Whitlow, LaFayette School (Ala.): Right now, Auburn is the only Power 5 offer Whitlow holds. That usually helps when a prospect gets to decision time. Auburn might not be chasing Whitlow as hard as others, but he has a great chance of ending up on the Plains.
- 3-star CB Shawn Shamburger, Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.): Shamburger plays for former Hoover (Ala.) coach Rush Propst at the perennial Georgia high school power. Like Whitlow, Shamburger’s best offer is from Auburn. Other offers likely will come as other programs fill spots at cornerback, but the Tigers will have the upper hand for Shamburger.
- 3-star safety Jordyn Peters, Muscle Shoals (Ala.): Peters is Auburn’s most recent commitment and his decision to commit prior to the first game of his senior season indicates his willingness to end his process. He’ll be a Tiger on signing day.
- 3-star safety Carlito Gonzalez, Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.): Gonzalez and Peters will have chips on their shoulders when they get to Auburn. The pair of safeties are slighted as 3-star prospects, but the tandem will both end up inking with the Tigers.
- 3-star kicker Anders Carlson, The Classical Academy (Pike National Forest, Colo.): Carlson was an Auburn commit the second his brother, Daniel, arrived on campus and found success. The Tigers will get another big-legged Carlson from Colorado.
Long snapper (1)
- Long snapper Bill Taylor, American Christian (Tuscaloosa, Ala.): The position you’ve all been anticipating. Wait, Taylor is already committed. He’ll continue to be.
All rankings provided by 247Sports.com unless otherwise noted.