Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Thursday, and we met with 2018 commits Asa Martin and Matthew Hill about their returns to the Plains.
Auburn feels ‘more like home’ to Asa Martin now
AUBURN, Ala. — In his first return to the Plains, Asa Martin was much more recognizable.
The many Auburn fans who aren’t dialed into the recruiting scene still know the face of the top running back who spurned the Crimson Tide for the Tigers. Everywhere he went on his first return visit, he was pointed out by someone wearing orange and blue.
It even further validated Martin’s choice.
“It felt good, man,” Martin said. “It felt even more like home, me being back and committed. I heard people yelling my name and saying War Eagle. It just felt great.”
Martin also received a front-row ticket for the new-look Chip Lindsey offense. Admittedly, little changed — at least against Georgia Southern — but Martin liked the way multiple running backs got involved in the offense.
And despite the rust, Martin looks forward to seeing what Jarrett Stidham can do for an improved passing game.
“Very impressed. Auburn’s known for running the ball anyways. The passing game, it takes time, so it’s not anything to worry about. It did look the way I expected it to,” Martin said. “Offense looked really good tonight. They ran the football really well. There were a bunch of backs. Kam Martin, Kerryon, Malik got in a little bit, Devan Barrett. They ran the ball really well tonight, and I liked that.”
Martin spent most of his time with close friend and 4-star defensive tackle Coynis Miller. He also flashed his recruiter skills with 2020 wide receiver Dazalin Worsham. But Martin said most of his efforts as a recruiter last Saturday centered around 4-star offensive guard Trey Hill.
Hill didn’t reveal much to Martin, but there were some positive vibes there.
“I talked to Trey Hill just to try to get some offensive linemen, you know,” Martin said. “He’s kinda quiet. He doesn’t give too much feedback. He just kinda smiles, but I think that’s a good sign.”
Despite Martin’s commitment, he’ll likely be asked until he signs whether or not Alabama still has a chance. He admitted he’s “still hear from Alabama quite a bit” since committed to Auburn a couple weeks ago, but Martin chose not to go into much detail on that front.
The early enrollee game a diplomatic response about potential visits to Tuscaloosa or elsewhere.
“I’m committed to Auburn, so I’m not sure,” Martin said. “Everything when I committed, it’s still the same.”
Auburn WR commit: ‘This is home now’
Home again, home again.
That’s the feeling Matthew Hill had as he sat in the recruiting section of Jordan-Hare Stadium just before kickoff against Georgia Southern last weekend. It was his first time on campus since committed to Auburn over South Carolina and Alabama.
He felt alive.
“This is home now,” Hill said. “I can officially say this is home.”
As he watched the Week 1 matchup, Hill closely watched the passing game to see if he saw improvements from a season ago.
There were some hiccups, but he liked what he saw. Hill was impressed by Jarrett Stidham’s ability to put the ball on the money after a rusty first quarter. He didn’t realize Stidham was as mobile as he was, which caught Hill’s eye, as well.
All in all, Hill enjoyed what he saw.
“I saw improvement on the offensive side of the ball, and the defense is just outstanding,” Hill said. “(Stidham) did a good job. A few good passes. Good in the run game. Good job scrambling outside the pocket. He had a few passes that should’ve been caught. Other than that, it was a good game.”
Hill didn’t do much recruiting at the game specifically, but he’s doing his part regardless.
In fact, an argument can be made that Hill’s doing the toughest work in the Class of 2018. He’s one of Auburn’s only commits with a strong relationship with 5-star quarterback Justin Fields. That’s where Hill puts his recruiting emphasis.
“You know, I still need Justin Fields to go ahead and commit,” Hill said. “I text him once or twice a week, just a War Eagle.”
Hill hopes to return for the Mercer game in two weeks. He hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll enroll early. If Hill takes more recruiting visits, it’ll just be his official visits to the top 5 of Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, LSU and Florida.
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