Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Tuesday, and we catch up with Asa Martin‘s coach about what he expects. Also JJ Peterson gives the latest.
Asa Martin’s coach breaks down expectations
There has been a lot of chatter about where Asa Martin will commit on Thursday. That noise has existed for a while, ever since Auburn and Alabama were late to the offering party. Since then, Crystal Ball predictions have come flooding in for the Crimson Tide, who are the perceived leaders despite Martin never saying anything to support that.
Jeremy Perkins, who is Asa Martin’s high school coach, says that’s by design.
“What everyone thinks they know out there, it’s not coming from him. Your guess is as good as mine,” Perkins told SEC Country. “He has kept this really close to the vest. I’m pretty sure when he makes his announcement on Thursday that he and his mother will be the only two that know. He may talk to the college coaches before, but as far as teammates, coaches and the public, he isn’t telling anyone.”
It’s likely down to those in-state programs at this point.
Martin’s two most recent visits came for the respective cookouts at Alabama and Auburn. He went to Tuscaloosa for a day trip. Auburn became a three-day, two-night excursion. Whether or not that extended stay is telling remains to be seen, but it proves the Tigers are much more of a threat than many expert predictions suggest.
Alabama and Auburn bring different offensive styles, which is something that has made Martin think deeply. But Perkins doesn’t think his star pupil will have trouble in any scheme.
“I think he has the skill set to do so many different things,” Perkins said. “Whichever offense he chooses, I know he can be a great downhill runner. He can run the zone and stretch plays. He does that for us. He can fit in the spread system where he’s running more power, sweeps and inside-outside zones out of the shotgun. He fits in any system. There’s a lot of variety in his game.”
The depth-chart opportunity at Auburn is much more open, a big reason why the Tigers are receiving extra consideration. In the past, Martin told SEC Country he worried about his fit with Alabama, but those concerns have diminished over time.
Like Perkins said, if that was a true concern, the Crimson Tide wouldn’t be in the final conversation.
“I think if it was an issue for him, he wouldn’t have Alabama as one of his top four teams,” Perkins said. “Some would argue one of his top two teams. If it was an issue, we would have had a conversation about it. He’s a competitor. He’s not shying away from competition. He never has done that.”
Alabama has a track record recently of landing the No. 1 running back in the state when it wants him. Auburn has a history of compiling 1,000-yard rushers. When Martin makes his decision Thursday, it won’t necessarily be the end of each side’s chase for the 4-star running back.
Does his coach think the Thursday commitment is the end?
“I would hope so. He’s planning on being a December grad, so that’s only a few months away. The plan is for him to be done. With recruiting how it is today, I wouldn’t put my John Hancock on that or bet the house,” Perkins said. “I think he has taken the due diligence needed to make this decision. I think he’s going to feel very comfortable with this. His plan is that when he makes his commitment that the school he picks will be the place he signs, but who knows what the future holds.”
JJ Peterson gives latest on recruitment
Every time JJ Peterson has spoke to reporters — to my knowledge — he has called Alabama his leader. The Crimson Tide have recruited the Colquitt County (Ga.) linebacker as one of the top prospects in the nation, which he is. But that hasn’t stopped others from continuing their pursuit of Peterson.
Auburn, probably more than anyone, has hung around as a true contender. In our most recent conversation, Peterson once again called Alabama his No. 1 and put a group of three schools in his No. 2 spot.
“Auburn, Oregon and Georgia,” Peterson said. “It’s close.”
Whether Auburn has a legitimate chance to pull him away remains to be seen. He has gone to Auburn as much as anywhere besides Georgia and Alabama. Peterson said his closest coaching relationship is with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
An Auburn coach holds the No. 2 distinction.
“Travis Williams is second,” Peterson said.
This still feels like a major long shot to me, but Auburn isn’t going to give up until Peterson’s name is on a dotted line.
Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting right here.
The post Asa Martin’s high school coach breaks down his expectations for Thursday decision appeared first on SEC Country.
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