Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Wednesday, and we break down the Tigers’ lead for Dylan Wonnum. Also, Michael Harris explains what his plan is with recruiting going forward. I make my first Asa Martin prediciton.
Dylan Wonnum breaks down Auburn’s lead
As the summer started to wind down, Dylan Wonnum’s college opinions started to change.
Auburn wasn’t always at the top of his list. That distinction favored South Carolina, where his brother plays. But as he took more visits to the Plains, the Tigers started to grow on him, which is why he told SEC Country last week that Auburn is the one school standing out.
Wonnum’s high school team, Tucker (Ga.), has a policy that prospects need to commit before the start of the season. That’s why his teammate, Michael Harris, made his decision before the season. It’s also why South Carolina commit Josh Vann announced the day of his season-opener.
But the coach made an exception for Wonnum because, as close as he was to being able to choose, he needed to see a little bit more.
“I did (think I was close to committing). But when I had went to all of the campuses, I still really didn’t make my mind up,” Wonnum said. “Auburn was in the lead, but it wasn’t that much for me to commit. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s not a lot, but they really are standing out, though.”
Wonnum has a lot of people pulling him from different sides.
His brother plays for South Carolina. Harris is committed to Auburn. Vann is committed to South Carolina. His close friend growing up, Jalil Irvin, is in Auburn’s class. Wonnum expects to hear a lot from those people, but said they understand the process enough to not overload him.
Most of Wonnum’s decision will be based on relationships, however, which is why those two schools have emerged. His relationship with Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand will play an integral role.
“He gets to know me on a personal level, but he likes to send me quotes and everything. You know, like, ‘You’re only as good as your weakest link.’ Stuff like that,” Wonnum said. “He’s obviously important to my decision. I think he’s a good person.”
Michael Harris outlines continued recruiting approach
If you missed it Tuesday, go check out the interview/highlight package with Auburn linebacker commit Michael Harris.
The energy and intensity Harris brings to a football field falls in line with Travis Williams and the linebacker group already on campus. Harris will fit right in. Williams prioritized Harris as one of the top linebackers in the class, and despite Harris’ love for Ohio State, the Auburn linebackers coach didn’t let up on his recruiting efforts, which is what put the Tigers over the top.
“Auburn has a great environment,” Harris said. “They have a great coaching staff. It’s close to home. Every time I go down there, I loved it more and more. That’s really why I chose Auburn.”
For the most part, Harris’ recruitment is over.
With that said, he’ll take all five of his official visits, though he hasn’t set up dates or specific schools that will receive them. Harris remains in conversation with a few other college coaches on a “cordial” level, but said there isn’t too much to look into there.
Basically, Harris is doing his due diligence on the recruiting trail on the off chance worst-case scenario hits the Tigers this season.
“I’m going to take all my visits. It was a strong verbal commit. I’m going to go to all my visits. I still text a few coaches. There’s nothing to it, just keeping in touch,” Harris said. “Most likely, I’m going to be a War Eagle.”
My Asa Martin prediction has changed
Let’s start with this: It’s 24 hours until Asa Martin’s announcement, so plenty can change. It’s recruiting.
With that said, I’ve made the decision to put in a Crystal Ball prediction — and it might surprise some people.
I predict Martin chooses Auburn over Alabama, Clemson and Florida on Thursday morning. I’m not alone. Our Alabama recruiting reporter, Chris Kirschner, has switched his prediction on the matter, as well.
A little over a week ago, I released my offensive projection without Martin in there. In the past week, there has been a lot of positive Auburn-related chatter. Two sources close to the situation have told me they think Martin will choose Auburn, but that he truly is in the throws of a decision between Auburn and Alabama.
This week, the Auburn side has shown its most optimism since Martin received the Alabama offer.
A full day can feel like an eternity in recruiting. College coaches can contact prospects and alter their viewpoints in short order. So even though it’s only a day away, this one isn’t over (and likely won’t be once Martin commits). But, as of now, I feel stronger than ever Martin will pick Auburn over Alabama, which is why I finally felt confident enough to place my first Crystal Ball pick for Martin.
Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting right here.
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