Much like Justin Ferguson does on the Auburn team side, recruiting reporter Benjamin Wolk will now examine 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.
WHO NEXT https://t.co/vOgXBFfPXt
— Asa (@TheAsaMartin_) November 23, 2017
Normally this space will be reserved for fans and readers who direct Auburn recruiting questions toward me. We’ll make an exception for Asa Martin.
The Tigers running back commit has been one of the more vocal leaders in the 2018 class. He is recruiter as much as recruit. So last week, when Richard Jibunor and Seth Williams committed on the same day — giving Auburn even more buzz than it already had — Martin asked the all-important question to his fellow Class of 2018 class members as spots dwindle in Auburn’s class.
There are several candidates for prospects who are on the verge of a decision. Trey Hill claims he could decide any time between now and Dec. 20, with no specific timetable in mind. The same can be said for Jerome Carvin. Kayode Oladele has a Dec. 12 decision coming for his birthday. Beyond that, there’s a long list of recruits who could jump on board sooner rather than later at the prospect of spots filling up, and that’s the blessed recruiting position the Tigers have found themselves in.
One prospect, in particular, left the Iron Bowl feeling much closer to committing that previously believed.
“I’m making it soon,” 4-star linebacker Zakoby McClain said after the game.
McClain has had a back-and-forth recruitment.
There were points in the summer when I thought he was destined to choose Auburn, but he’d hesitate. He would consider another program, or back out of a visit to the Plains. At one point this fall, it seemed like he was moments from taking a visit to LSU and committing there. That visit — and commitment, obviously — never happened. That’s when West Virginia picked up a visit and got in it.
Those are the three programs who will be involved when McClain makes his decision “soon,” which he described as a month or sooner. My sources are leaning on the side of sooner — much sooner.
There’s a high probability McClain will have a decision by the end of this week, just a few days after visiting Auburn and getting a lot of personal time with linebackers coach Travis Williams before and after the game. My understanding is those conversations were very frank, but they ended with both sides feeling great about the other.
“We talked a lot. He was talking about how I like the schools [recruiting me] and what I want to do [with my recruitment] and what I like about [Auburn],” McClain said. “I loved it.”
If we’re keeping count, McClain — who doesn’t take many visits — has been to Auburn twice, West Virginia once and LSU zero times. Not sure if that’s enough data for a “follow the visits” approach, but the timing fits.
I have been able to confirm that McClain is back in the very good graces of the Auburn coaching staff. They love his speed, which coincidentally (or not), is what he said he enjoys about the Tigers’ defense: “They play fast,” he said after the visit.
The real speed could be the quickness with which McClain moves through the back stages of this process. He hasn’t been taken visits and his recruitment has been somewhat of a mystery after pushing back a prior commitment date. He made my class projection in May, June, July, August and September. McClain took a hiatus from the mock class in October when he was replaced with Alabama commit Quay Walker, but he returned last week in my November projection.
He seems set on shutting down his recruitment. Auburn’s buzz, his recent visit and the fact he’s already set up a Dec. 10 official visit — which will likely be after he makes a college decision — should give the Tigers a lot of hope they’ll add their second linebacker in the near future.
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