Leonard Warner, a 4-star linebacker from Brookwood (Snellville, Ga,) High School, was one of several top players from the state of Georgia competing Tuesday at McEachern High School in the Elite Junior Classic, which pits the state’s top juniors against one another.
Earlier this season, Warner released a Top 5 that included Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. After Tuesday’s game, he revealed a change to his list.
“The new team in my Top 5 is Stanford,” Warner told SEC Country. “It used to be Auburn, but I decided to go in a different direction.”
Former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp left Auburn for the head coach’s job at South Carolina, and a new defensive coordinator hasn’t been hired. Uncertainty about who Auburn will hire to replace Muschamp is already affecting the recruiting trail.
Muschamp’s departure doesn’t seem to be the reason for Auburn’s absence from Warner’s Top 5, however. In fact, that may not have made any difference.
“It wasn’t anything Auburn did,” Warner said. “Just the academic caliber (at Stanford) and the fact that they have great football at the same time, I had to put them in my Top 5.”
A balance of academics and football is something that is important to the talented linebacker. It’s why schools like Georgia Tech and Duke are also near the top of his list.
Auburn may not currently reside in Warner’s preferred bunch, but that could change depending on who the program hires to lead its defense. Whoever the school brings in, a call to the nation’s No. 9 outside linebacker is likely to be a priority.