Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Wednesday and SEC Country examines the early enrollee plans, as well as an offensive lineman planning to visit.
Who does Auburn expect to enroll/sign early?
There are still three big weeks of college football’s regular season left. In Auburn’s perfect world, there are at least two — and potentially — three games after that. So it’s a little premature to talk about anything other than that.
With that said, we’re inching up on the first December in college football history with an early signing period. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. I think even college coaches and programs are still a little curious of what to expect when Dec. 20-22 hits and players have to choose whether to use the early period or wait until the normal February signing day.
One thing is certain: The guys who enroll early will sign during the early signing period. Among guys already committed to Auburn, that includes the following seven guys:
- 4-star QB Joey Gatewood: He’s been committed the longest and wants to get on campus as soon as possible to begin his development and insert himself into the quarterback competition. Gatewood has always wanted to be an early enrollee, and it appears he’s slightly more than a month away from doing that.
- 3-star WR Shedrick Jackson: Jackson is a high-academic guy, so it shouldn’t surprise you he’s able to enroll early. He’s someone who, despite his somewhat lower ranking, I expect to contribute as a freshman. His ability to enroll early is a big part of that.
- 3-star ATH Josh Marsh: It seems like Marsh just likes to speed up the process as much as possible. He camped and communicated with Auburn all for the first time on the same day this summer. He received an offer that same day, and rather than wait, he went ahead and committed. Now, instead of waiting things out, he’ll sign and enroll early, as well. That’s efficiency.
- 4-star RB Asa Martin: Alabama isn’t going to give up on Martin, so it’s certainly in Auburn’s best interest that Martin plans to enroll early. That eliminates a full month and a half for the Crimson Tide to poach the star running back away from their in-state rival. It’s not to say a flip is impossible, but the timeline works majorly in Auburn’s favor.
- 4-star safety Quindarious Monday: Similarly to Martin, Monday continues to be recruited by a top program — Clemson. Georgia could re-enter the mix, as well, if the Bulldogs missed on a few secondary options. But Clemson is really the team to watch out for here, and the fact Monday will enroll early indicates 1) he is comfortable with his decision and 2) Clemson won’t have much time to change things with the state playoffs on deck.
- 3-star DE Daquan Newkirk: Newkirk’s time is finally here. All that stands between Newkirk and Auburn is school, something that held him up in the past. Newkirk suggests everything is looking good academically to be at Auburn in early January to finally live out his dream on the Tigers’ defense.
- 3-star safety Jamien Sherwood: Sherwood is a sure thing to stick with Auburn, as a long as the coaching staff remains in place, which I expect it to. Sherwood is in a similar boat to Jackson. He’s someone who isn’t as highly-rated as some, but as an early enrollee, I expect will have an early role as a freshman at Auburn.
The final question centers around the early signing period. Who will sign early even if they don’t enroll? Colleges are trying to work out all those kinks right now. In Auburn’s case, the Tigers would like to have everyone committed sign in December in order to avoid any extra distractions in January.
So far, only Shaun Shivers has confirmed he wants to sign early, even though he won’t enroll early. I anticipate a few more names will add to that list as Dec. 20 approaches.
South Georgia offensive lineman to visit Auburn
More names will pop up, and I’ve hinted at a few big ones throughout the week. I’ll have a much more complete list Friday when everything sorts itself more in the coming days.
With that, there’s another interesting name that can be added to the bunch: Jalen Goss.
Goss is a 3-star offensive tackle from Valdosta, Ga. He visited Auburn over the summer for a camp. At 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, Goss has a frame that catches the interest of college coaches. When he was at Auburn, Goss spent a significant amount of time talking with coach Gus Malzahn, and more specifically strength coach Ryan Russell, about how they expect his body to develop going forward.
Will he be a offensive lineman? Is he maybe more of a defensive lineman, as he’s listed on some recruiting sites? Could tight end maybe be the best fit?
The consensus became that Goss would likely have the ability to grow into an offensive tackle. He already has the height. He simply lacks the mass. But Auburn felt confident he could get to where they wanted him to be.
As a result, Auburn extended an offer and Goss was adamant he’d return. He thought it would be sooner than this weekend, but alas, he hasn’t been back — until now.
Goss will be at the Auburn-Georgia game for his first visit to the Plains since receiving the offer at camp. He also holds offers from Michigan, Mississippi State, Tennessee, West Virginia and others. Perhaps Auburn’s biggest recruiting need going forward is along the offensive line, so Goss will be an interesting prospect to track.
Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting right here.
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