Gap between Florida, Auburn ‘not that big’ for top DT target Coynis Miller

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 Coynis Miller‘s plans and decision. Also, could Joe Foucha play a position other than safety?

Coynis Miller prepares for Florida-Auburn battle

AUBURN, Ala. — What was once believed to be an Auburn-Alabama recruiting battle has quickly turned into an Auburn-Florida competition.

Coynis Miller, once planning to decide in the summer, has a midseason or postseason decision on his hands. He hasn’t officially set any kind of timetable, but he has a leader.

That’s Florida. Miller claims it was “just something about them” when he visited for the first time.

He went down for his first visit to Gainesville, Fla., before the August dead period. Miller has been publicly referring to the Gators as his leader ever since. The order didn’t change when he visited Auburn for the Georgia Southern game, but Miller admitted the Tigers have the ability to overthrow Florida in fairly short order.

RELATED: Recruiting insider from Auburn’s Week 1 victory over Georgia Southern

“It’s not that big [of a gap],” Miller said. “They’re probably head to head. Auburn can come up and steal it at any time.”

At Auburn, Miller has relationships with players, like former high school teammate T.D. Moultry. His strongest coaching relationship is with defensive line coach Rodney Garner who, according to someone close to Miller, will be a nearly impossible person for Miller to turn down. He also grew up with Auburn running commit Asa Martin in north Alabama.

Asa Martin (left) and Coynis Miller enjoyed the first Tigers game of the season. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Miller spent most of his Saturday on the Plains attached to the hip with Martin, which plays heavily into Auburn’s favor.

“We grew up together. You know, he just committed. He keeps smiling and everything, telling me to make that move. He’s recruiting me pretty hard,” Miller said. “It is [going to help Auburn]. Just knowing we come from the same place, what we had to go through to get into this position.”

A May graduate, Miller isn’t in a hurry to make a final decision.

It probably will come after the season, Miller said, but admitted he could decide before then if he’s ready. He just wants to see more of the 2017 season play out and will keep a close watch on Florida and Auburn — and even Alabama — along the defensive line.

In Week 1 for Auburn, the Tigers defensive line couldn’t have put on a much better show for Miller.

“They were just playing good, getting after it. Jeff Holland caught my attention a lot. You know, just seeing him get after it. He’s passionate about the game,” Miller said. “They’re better than I thought they were going to be. They were just flying to the ball making plays. Every time I talk to Coach G, he says, if I do come, I’ll be playing behind those guys. I try to get a look at how they do things. … It’s going to be good, if I do come.”

Safety target Joe Foucha could play CB, nickel

Joe Foucha once seemed like a likely addition to the Auburn class.

The Tigers didn’t have the greatest forecast at safety at the time, and he always called Auburn his leader. The New Orleans-based safety grew up a Cam Newton fan, which was pushing him toward the Tigers. Then, Auburn landed commitments from Quindarious Monday and Jamien Sherwood to go along with Kolbi Fuqua, who switched from receiver to safety.

There’s also Josh Marsh, who could fit into a secondary role.

Despite the spots filling up at safety, Foucha’s communication with Auburn has stayed on the same track.

“We talk every day. I keep in touch with all the coaches,” Foucha told SEC Country. “I haven’t planned any trips to go there yet, but I will be going there soon.”

Arkansas-recruiting-Joe-Foucha
Three-star safety target Joseph Foucha could end up as a cornerback. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

While safety spots look full, the opposite can be said for cornerback.

That’s the one position Auburn hasn’t quite figured out, and the Tigers will stay patient to see how it plays out. Foucha still sees himself as a safety, but in his conversations with Auburn defensive backs coach Greg Brown, there have been conversations about a few other positions in the secondary.

“I’d say safety. I talk to the DB coach. I talk to him. He likes me at the corner spot, how I improved over the summer. Things are looking good for me at safety, corner or nickel,” Foucha said. “I’m very versatile.”

Foucha hasn’t cut down from his top 7 officially, but he said — in terms of interest and commnication — Florida State, LSU, Alabama and Auburn have emerged from the pack. At all of those schools, the safety position is starting to work itself out.

My take here: Foucha’s decision will run up until National Signing Day. One of those four programs will have at least one available spot for a versatile defensive back, and that’s where Foucha will land. At this point, it could be any of the four. It’s too early to say which program that will be. It’ll depend on how the rest of the 2018 class plays out.

Call for recruiting mailbag: Week 2

Week 2 recruiting mailbag coming up.

As I started last week, there will be a weekly Auburn recruiting mailbag for readers to get involved. I’m fielding questions you send to my Twitter (mentions or direct messages) regarding Tigers football recruiting. There were plenty of great questions, which resulted in a 5-star mailbag to start the season.

My Twitter: @benjaminwolk.

Send me your questions Tuesday to sneak into this week’s mailbag. If you don’t get it in Tuesday, fear not. This will go on for the entire football season, so there will be several opportunities to get your name and questions published.

Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting  right here.

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