Much like Justin Ferguson does on the Auburn team side, recruiting reporter Benjamin Wolk will now answer the Recruiting Question of the Day every day of the week. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or Facebook. Look for our Auburn Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
I received this question right after Auburn’s win over Georgia. It made sense. The Tigers had just grabbed a victory over the No. 1 team in the nation during a month in which a big (and impatient) chunk of the fan base had been calling for Gus Malzahn’s job. By beating the Bulldogs, that cloud of uncertainty faded.
To an extent.
There was still the big elephant in the room — Alabama in the season finale.
For that reason, it made it tougher to project where Auburn would land in the team rankings. After all, there was still buzz of Gus Malzahn to Arkansas. It was still possible for an in-state loss to Alabama to temper some of the recruiting expectations created by the Georgia win.
Well, two weeks later the recruiting momentum is moving faster than ever.
Auburn has grabbed three 4-star commitments — cornerback Christian Tutt, wide receiver Seth Williams and linebacker Richard Jibunor — in a two-week span. And if you read SEC Country’s question of the day on Monday, you’d know the Tigers are in good position to add another 4-star linebacker Tuesday evening.
Assuming that commitment happens as expected, that’ll move Auburn into the top 10 for the first time this cycle, just behind No. 9 Florida State. The question I’ve been getting for most of the season has been, “Can Auburn make it into the top 10?” More often than not, that answer has been, “It’s going to be tough.”
That sentiment has changed in a big way.
Including Zakoby McClain’s announcement Tuesday, Auburn would finish the day with 18 commitments in the 2018 class. The Tigers can take seven more, and there’s a chance one of them would be Australian punter Arryn Siposs. That would leave six spots, assuming everyone in the class stays in the class (for the sake of this conversation, we’re we’ll make that assumption).
Here are the prospects still looking heavily at Auburn (more could pop up).
- 4-star WR Justyn Ross
- 4-star WR Anthony Schwartz
- 4-star QB Emory Jones — Ohio State commit
- 4-star OT Dylan Wonnum
- 4-star TE Luke Ford
- 4-star LB Quay Walker — Alabama commit
- 4-star LB Channing Tindall
- 4-star OG Trey Hill
- 4-star OT Richard Gouraige — Florida commit
- 3-star OT Jerome Carvin
- 3-star DL Andres Fox
- 3-star DL Kayode Oladele
- 3-star ATH Cam Taylor
From that group, the most likely six to commit to Auburn, in my opinion, would be Schwartz, Hill, Carvin, Fox, Oladele and Taylor.
But there’s even more potential recruiting momentum on the horizon for Auburn with the SEC Championship Game ahead. That could be meaningful for committed guys such as Jones, Walker and Gouraige. It could affect primary Georgia targets, as well, such as Ford, Tindall and Hill.
With the six named previously, that would give the Tigers a team composite score of 257.29.
That would move Auburn up to No. 6, if the current rankings were to stay in place, which obviously won’t happen. In past years, 257.29 would place the Tigers somewhere in the 8-13 range. It’s not necessarily as high as some Auburn fans would like, but it’s serviceable and falls in line with the quality depth Malzahn has created during his tenure.
Replace some of my expectations with guys such as Jones, Gouraige, Ross or Walker, and the Tigers could work their way well into the top 10. Top 5 will be tough, but Auburn can inch toward it.
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