Auburn has a track record of top-10 recruiting classes under Gus Malzahn, but the Tigers still have some work to do.
They currently sit at No. 24 in the 247Sports team rankings, because Auburn only has 13 commitments right now. Seven of those are on the offensive side of the ball, so there are plenty of additions likely to be made in the coming months as far as defense goes.
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With six commitments on defense, that side of the ball has plenty of room to grow in the 2018 class, too.
But let’s start with the offense. Joey Gatewood, Asa Martin, Shaun Shivers, Jalil Irvin, Kameron Stutts, Matthew Hill and Shedrick Jackson are already committed, but the projection below has four other prospects joining Auburn’s 2018 offensive group.
Let’s take a look:Quarterback (1): 4-star Joey Gatewood (Jacksonville, Fla.)
There’s not much to report here. Gatewood has stated consistently how he’s committed fully to Auburn regardless if anyone else commits to the Tigers.
With that said, I think Auburn is on the outside looking in for Justin Fields, as well as any potential flip attempts on Ohio State commit Emory Jones.4-star QB commit Joey Gatewood has been a star in 2017. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
So will the Tigers find and evaluate another quarterback option?
It’s possible, but I’m leaning toward no at this time. Auburn’s staff wants an elite type of guy if they’re going to add someone to co-exist with Gatewood in the class. Otherwise, the 4-star quarterback who has been committed to Auburn longer than anyone else has more than enough talent to do it on his own.
He’s had an impressive start to the 2017 season, and it’ll only improve from here.
Misses: Justin Fields, Emory JonesRunning back (2): 4-star Asa Martin (Decatur, Ala.), 3-star Shaun Shivers (Hollywood, Fla.)
Last month, I felt Auburn would’ve been OK riding with Shivers and Shivers only in the 2018 running back class. Luckily for the Tigers, they received a much better result.
Asa Martin chose Auburn over Alabama, Clemson and Florida. All three of those schools, especially the first on the list, will continue to recruit Martin until he signs in December. But, for now, there’s no reason to think his final destination will be anywhere other than Auburn.
The Tigers could add a third running back in the class if they feel like it’s necessary. For now, I think Auburn will stick with two, continuing to recruit other top targets and evaluate others as a defense mechanism if Martin has an unexpected change of heart.
Misses: Harold JoinerWide receiver (3): 4-star Seth Williams (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 4-star Matthew Hill (Snellville, Ga.), 3-star Shedrick Jackson (Hoover, Ala.)
This position group probably suffered the biggest loss from August to September, but there is still time for a resolution.Four-star WR Seth Williams is one of the biggest wide receivers in the state. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
Justyn Ross was removed from the list. I wrote on Monday, after attending Ross’ game on Friday, about his rising interest in out-of-state Clemson rather than Auburn or Alabama, which is a rare trait for the state’s No. 1 overall prospect.
Auburn is probably in his No. 2 spot based on proximity to home and relationship with the staff. But the Tigers are going to have to show much more on the field to prove to Ross he’d be utilized more there than in Clemson’s explosive passing game. Alabama finds itself in a similar situation to Auburn.
I still think the Tigers are the favorite to land Seth Williams. Ross and Williams are really the two big-bodied, in-state receiver options in Alabama. Auburn would love to add both, but it’s imperative it grabs one. If the Tigers miss on Ross, the chase for Williams will pick up even further.
Auburn could receive an official visit from Tommy Bush, but as of now, he needs to see more from the offense to place him in any kind of projection.
Misses: Ross, Tommy Bush, Anthony SchwartzTight end (1): 3-star Michael Parker (Huntsville, Ala.)
This position could still go several different ways. I broke this down a little more a couple weeks ago and think, for the time being, there are really four names to track at the position. If that list grows, I’ll make sure to update things.
Luke Ford seems like the least likely right now. Auburn’s best chance is to surprise with a commitment from 5-star quarterback Justin Fields. Nic McTear is a former Oklahoma State commit who hears from Auburn tight ends coach Larry Porter on a regular basis. Tyneil Hopper has multiple connections to the Tigers and was the first tight end on campus when Porter took over his role. He has solid interest in North Carolina and Louisville, as well.
McTear and Hopper might have the same level of chance to land at Auburn as Parker. For now, I’m going with the in-state prospect. The thing to watch here is Alabama’s interest level. If the Crimson Tide stay out of things, then I think Auburn is the likely landing spot.
Misses: Nic McTear, Tyneil Hopper, Luke FordOffensive line (4): 4-star Dylan Wonnum (Tucker, Ga.), 4-star Trey Hill (Warner Robins, Ga.), 3-star Jalil Irvin (Stone Mountain, Ga.), 3-star Kameron Stutts (Killen, Ala.)
This is perhaps a premature projection to make. Wonnum, Irvin and Stutts stay the same. But the addition of 4-star offensive guard Trey Hill will likely catch the attention of many.Auburn target Trey Hill enters the stadium. (Sarah Lundgren/SEC Country)
He’s one of the best offensive line prospects in the country and is a top priority for multiple schools, including but not limited to Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and Clemson. Hill has been labeled a strong Georgia lean for almost the entirety of his recruiting process, but those words have never come from Hill’s mouth.
Perhaps the most interesting: Hill made his first college visit of the season to Auburn when he had the opportunity to go to Georgia-Appalachian State or Alabama-Florida State. That doesn’t necessarily mean Auburn’s the school of choice, but it certainly means the Tigers are much more in this than has been suggested by many in the industry, myself included at times.
Hill is the offensive line priority for Auburn’s class, though Wonnum is too as the Tigers battle with South Carolina. Auburn might provide the most immediate access to the field, which could be the deciding factor.
Misses: Tank Jenkins, Badara Traore, Jerome Carvin
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