Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Thursday and SEC Country previews Richard Jibunor’s commitment decision.
Richard Jibunor to pick Auburn, Florida or Tennessee
It’s quite fitting for Richard Jibunor to be committing on Thanksgiving.
Of all the prospects I’ve covered, nobody is more thankful for the coverage of his recruitment. Jibunor will make sure to shake your hand and thank you for coming out to an Athens (Ga.) Christian game or practice. He will direct message a thank you for publishing a story about his recruitment and rare journey into the college football world.
Jibunor will announce a decision Thursday that will leave one fan base thanking him dearly for blessing their program with his athleticism. The 4-star linebacker/defensive end will announce his commitment around noon ET with what I anticipate will be a thanks-filled tweet.
Auburn, Florida and Tennessee are the choices. All three have been close to earning commitments from Jibunor throughout the recruiting process. Here are Jibunor’s quick takes on how all three programs worked their way into his recruitment.
- Auburn: “Since Auburn offered me last summer, they started recruiting me hard. [Defensive line] coach [Rodney] Garner and [linebackers] coach T-Will [Travis Williams], they became very close to me. We talk all the time. They told me they wanted me. They’ve been on me for as long as I can remember.”
- Florida: “With Florida, it was [linebackers] coach [Tim] Skipper. And I like the way they play. When I went there, it was just how welcoming they were. All the coaches. How they welcomed me was just so awesome.”
- Tennessee: “Tennessee was my first SEC offer. I always wanted to play in the SEC. When Tennessee offered, I said that’s it. I was at Tennessee almost every time. I built a very good relationship with [linebackers] coach [Tommy] Thigpen. I like him, man. I love him and his family. He has a beautiful, awesome family. I’m very close to him. I always felt like Tennessee was the one from the beginning.”
If Jibunor were to choose Auburn, it would be the Tigers’ 16th commitment in the Class of 2018.
It’s still unclear whether Jibunor will play outside linebacker or bulk into a defensive lineman. As the former, Jibunor would join Michael Harris as the only two linebacker commits in Auburn’s class. Jibunor would make the third defensive lineman committed, joining Daquan Newkirk and Coynis Miller.
A Jibunor commitment would jump Auburn over Michigan to No. 13 in the 247Sports composite team rankings, just a few composite points behind UCLA. From gathering intel around Jibunor’s commitment from start to finish, I stand by my belief that Auburn pulls this one out, though I think Tennessee and Florida made this one much closer than most people believe.
Jibunor is ranked the No. 291 overall prospect in the 2018 class. He would be Auburn’s eighth 4-star commitment in the class.
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