As is always the case, Auburn and Georgia are in contention for many of the nation’s top prospects. The Tigers regularly cherry-pick from the neighbor state, and this year is no different. Auburn already has a few Georgia players in its 2017 class, and it hopes to add a couple more if possible.
It will be a star-studded showing of recruits in Athens on Saturday, but some of the big names on hand are still considering Auburn, so the Tigers have an opportunity to steal some shine from the host Bulldogs. The most intriguing battle, to me, will be the chase for linebacker Tyler Taylor from Lanier (Ga.), who would round out Travis Williams’ first recruiting cycle in style.
IN PLAINS SIGHT: Bruce Pearl calls 2017 recruiting class ‘historic’
It’s not just an Auburn-Georgia battle for Taylor. Alabama could land him, if the Crimson Tide are interested. LSU and Oklahoma have been factors throughout his process. Taylor, however, isn’t planning to be in attendance Saturday.
But many recruits with ties to both schools are expected to be there. Check out the latest Auburn-related intel on those prospects.
4-star WDE Markaviest Bryant, Crisp County (Ga.): Montravius Adams’ cousin has been a regular around Auburn throughout his recruitment. “Big Cat” unofficially visited before the season in July and returned for Texas A&M and LSU games. It seems as if Bryant is backing off in his interest of Auburn as of late, though he’s still keeping the Tigers in contention. He plans on narrowing that list in the near future, and Georgia, LSU (loves coach O), Clemson and Alabama are in good shape.
2019 RB Steele Chambers, Blessed Trinity Catholic (Ga.): There isn’t much to report here. He’s still an underclassman and his only offer is from Vanderbilt. But Chambers has been to an Auburn game this season, and he has plans to go to the Auburn-Georgia game Saturday. It’s early in the process, but he might end up being a running back courted by several big-time SEC programs.
3-star 2018 DE Brenton Cox, Stockbridge (Ga.): Cox is a recruit rapidly gaining traction across the country. At the moment, he has offers from Tennessee, Alabama, Nebraska, Ohio State and Clemson. He attended the Auburn game along with his high school teammate Marquez Ezzard, and the tandem scored a personal conversation with Gus Malzahn near midfield prior to the game. Cox sits outside the top 400 in the 2018 class, and that will likely change now that, since June, he’s gained offers from five prominent programs. And with schools like Georgia and Auburn showing interest, and receiving unofficial visits, there will probably be plenty more to come.
4-star 2018 WR Matthew Hill, Brookwood (Ga.): Hill hasn’t specified any leaders in his recruitment, but the junior wide receiver has taken a few unofficial visits. He attended the Auburn-Clemson game to start the season at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Hill also went to a South Carolina game in October. His offer sheet includes Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State. Georgia hasn’t offered yet, but he plans to attend the matchup with the Tigers on Saturday.
4-star 2018 OT Trey Hill, Houston County (Ga.): Hill’s name has now been mentioned in Auburn terms for the second straight week. The 70th overall prospect in the country watched the Auburn-Vanderbilt matchup last week in Jordan-Hare Stadium. He’s expected at Sanford Stadium on Saturday for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Georgia is the smart-money favorite to land Hill. Auburn has received three unofficial visits from him this football season, which is something to watch. Tennessee, and now Georgia, are also among the visited.
5-star 2018 DE Justin Mascoll, South Gwinnett (Ga.): Auburn is playing from the outside here. The Tigers jumped on board with an early offer for the defensive end that has blossomed into one of the top 15 recruits in the talented 2018 recruiting class. He’s taken a few unofficial visits to the Plains in 2015 and 2016, but that has cooled off dramatically. Georgia has the edge for Mascoll, and the Bulldogs would be wise to secure the uber-athletic defensive end.
4-star LB Nate McBride, Vidalia (Ga.): Auburn really wants Taylor at linebacker. If the Tigers miss on him, they might look to Monty Rice or elsewhere to get a solid four at the position for 2017. The only logical way Auburn takes more than four is if McBride picks the Tigers, which doesn’t seem likely at this time. McBride leans toward the in-state Bulldogs, who will host the linebacker. He also visited Oregon recently. Alabama and Stanford could also be factors. McBride took an unofficial visit to Auburn in February. He’ll take in his first Tigers game of the season Saturday.
2019 OLB Owen Pappoe, Grayson (Ga.): Pappoe, who was in Auburn last week for the Vanderbilt game, has a chance to be the top-ranked player in his class. Only a sophomore, Pappoe already has offers from 33 programs. You name it, he’s got it. His early favorites are Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn. Pappoe spent Saturday taking in the Auburn game, spending time with recent linebacker commit KJ Britt. He’ll see his second straight Tigers game, but this time he’ll be in enemy territory.
3-star LB Monty Rice, James Clemens (Ala.): Georgia is hoping to lure the Alabama product away from the state since the Bulldogs weren’t able to do so with Britt. Rice provides an equally productive downhill style. He visited Jordan-Hare Stadium with his teammate, LaBryan Ray, for the Auburn-Clemson game. Auburn coaches Malzahn and Tim Horton swung by the school earlier this year to pay Rice a visit. Wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Auburn and Georgia saw a state swap for Taylor and Rice.
2018 TE Brandon Shelnutt, Archer (Ga.): Shelnutt visited Auburn this season for the Arkansas throttling. He’ll now go to Georgia for his second time this season. He hasn’t received offers from either yet, but the visit interest on the schools’ side indicates it might be looming. Georgia has a tendency to stockpile tight ends. Auburn is in a weird situation at the position for the time being. Random note: He’s Kyle Davis’ high school teammate.
3-star OT Jordan Tucker, Roswell (Ga.): Tucker is an interesting case. His name is beginning to pop up with regularity, and it’s no wonder. He’s 6-foot-7 and 335 pounds. Tucker plays sound offensive tackle for one of the most crisply run offenses in the state of Georgia, 10-0 Roswell. Tucker still doesn’t have offers from Georgia and Auburn, but this will be his second week in a row at an Auburn game. Tucker went to the Vanderbilt game and will now visit Athens for the Auburn-Georgia contest. Tucker has offers from Tennessee (formerly committed to Vols), Louisville, Virginia Tech and South Carolina. Once other dominoes fall, Tucker’s name will begin to pop up more. For Auburn fans, it has two straight weeks.
4-star 2018 OLB Quay Walker, Crisp County (Ga.): A high school teammate of Bryant’s, Walker might have more upside than his talented senior teammate. Bryant’s recruiting trajectory is detailed above, but Auburn has a much better shot at landing Walker. He’s interested in Georgia, Florida and Auburn right now, but the Bulldogs and Gators are showing more interest than the Tigers. That will change, as will the length of his offer sheet when programs begin to realize his full potential. He’s ranked 274th nationally, but expect that to rise. Auburn and Georgia will both chase him.
4-star CB Jamyest Williams, Grayson (Ga.): Williams committed to South Carolina in August, and with the way the Jake Bentley-led Gamecocks have looked lately, Will Muschamp & Co. should feel good about keeping one of its top recruits. He’s still getting chased by several of the 49 schools that offered him. Georgia must be one because he’s expected to attend the game. Auburn hasn’t been a factor for a while, but Williams did show interest in the Tigers throughout the process. He’s taken multiple unofficial visits to the school.
Class of 2017 snapshot
This will now be included in every Friday notebook. It’s a way to keep the casual reader up to speed on how Auburn stands during the current recruiting cycle. Not much has changed since last week. The Tigers sit in the same place in the rankings both nationally and in conference.
Auburn remains 12th nationally, which is up three slots from where it was before the addition of Britt. The Tigers sit in sixth in the SEC behind Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Auburn has the ability to catch Tennessee and A&M based on the end-of-cycle commitments, but it’ll be tough to catch the top 3.
Auburn’s 15 commitments fill several areas of need for the Tigers. It’s been a successful senior campaign for most, though some seasons have come to and end. Here are the top 5, in my mind, based on rankings and performance. There are varying opinions on who the top players in the class are (no order), and a lot can change between now, National Signing Day and when they finally take the field for Auburn.
- 5-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley
- 4-star running back Devan Barrett
- 4-star linebacker Tadarian Moultry
- 4-star linebacker KJ Britt
- 4-star athlete Tray Bishop
New commitments, new de-commitments
Breakdown by position
Quarterback (1): Tray Bishop
Running back (3): Devan Barrett, Alaric Williams, Octavius Matthews
Offensive line (3): Calvin Ashley, Nick Brahms, Austin Troxell
Linebacker (3): Tadarian Moultry, KJ Britt, Chandler Wooten
Cornerback (1): Malcolm Askew
Safety (2): Jordyn Peters, Carlito Gonzalez
Long snapper (1): Bill Taylor
Kicker (1): Anders Carlson
In-state commits: 8 — Williams, Matthews, Troxell, Moultry, Britt, Askew, Peters, Taylor.
Out-of-state commits: 7 — Bishop, Barrett, Ashley, Wooten, Gonzalez, Carlson, Brahms.
Other states represented: Florida (Ashley, Barrett, Brahms), Georgia (Bishop, Wooten, Gonzalez) and Colorado (Carlson).