Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Monday, and we catch up with the two-headed Hoover (Ala.) duo of Shedrick Jackson and George Pickens. Also, a key tight end said he’ll return to Auburn.
Hoover High previews the Tigers’ WR future
It didn’t seem to matter who matched up against Shedrick Jackson or George Pickens.
In Friday night’s game, the two Auburn wide receiver commits had the task of going up against a defending state champion Grayson defense with Power 5 commits and targets all over the roster. As the game wore on, however, it was Jackson and Pickens who shined the strongest.
Both Auburn commits went for nearly 100 yards. Jackson caught five passes for 152 yards, including a pair of 5o-plus yard snags. Pickens snagged six for 96 yards, including a key fourth-down reception that extended the game.
Hoover football games this fall will give Auburn fans a nice dose of the future of the Tigers’ receiving threat.
“It’s been fun because, you know, you get somebody like him on one side, and I work my tail off on the other side, it’s a problem,” Jackson told SEC Country after the game. “It’s a big problem.”
The two wide receivers bring different talents to the squad.
Jackson, the 2018 commit, stands 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds. He excels in the short to intermediate routes, but also has the breakaway speed to burn a cornerback in man-to-man coverage. Pickens, the 2019 commit, stands 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds and provides a go-up-and-get-it downfield threat.
It was interesting to hear each of the Tigers’ commit’s scouting report on the other.
“He’s got great hands, strong, fastest kid I’ve probably ever seen,” Pickens said of Jackson. “He blows right by you. He don’t even need no release.”
Jackson’s description of Pickens provided a similar, awe-inspired tone.
“He’s probably the most athletic person I’ve seen. He’s a freak,” Jackson said of Pickens. “He can be as good as he wants to be in the future as long as he keeps working and doing what he has to do.”
George Pickens ready to set 2019 foundation
Jackson remains an integral part of Auburn’s 13 commitments in the 2018 class, but Pickens is the foundational piece for the Class of 2019. Pickens committed to Auburn earlier this summer to become the first member of next year’s commitment list.
His reasons mimicked the explanation of many.
“The culture,” Pickens told SEC Country. “This is like Auburn to me. I know every coach. I know every staffer because they coached my brother (Chris Humes from Arkansas State).”
Pickens is the No. 193 overall prospect in the 2019 class, but he’s likely to rise with more exposure like Friday night vs. Grayson.
Now the question emerges: Can the Tigers hold onto its first 2019 commit?
Pickens is leaving the door open for other programs, but admits even he’d be surprised to see another school have the same effect on him as Auburn.
“I’m still talking to other schools. Other schools are still looking at me. But right now, Auburn’s the only one still for me right now,” Pickens said. “I’m going. I don’t want to say there’s no way I don’t go. I’m still looking at other schools. But Auburn is my main school, so even I’d be surprised if I didn’t go to Auburn.”
Pickens returned to Auburn for a visit over the weekend. He still hears from schools like Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama, USC, Oklahoma and others who are contemplating offers. Pickens remains cordial with them.
But, for now, his attention is firmly placed on building a successful 2019 class around him.
“It’s really just to persuade folks to come to Auburn, show them the culture and really learn how to play the game of football,” Pickens said.
Top TE plans to return to Auburn
Auburn’s tight end recruiting remains a bit of a mystery, but there is one prospect who the Tigers would take in a heartbeat if he wanted to.
That’s Luke Ford.
Ford emerged as perhaps the best tight end in the nation following the The Opening, That came shortly after his first visit to the Plains, which included a personal campus tour from Gus Malzahn. With that said, Ford has expressed publicly that Georgia and Alabama have a little bit of an advantage for the tight end, especially if Justin Fields chooses the Bulldogs.
But Fields is still considering Auburn, as well, and so is Ford.
On Sunday, he tweeted out a photo thanking the Tigers for their continued interest.
— L U K E F O R D™ (@lukeredx97) August 27, 2017
Ford has only visited Auburn the one time.
But as the season gets underway and official visits start to be lined up, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ford make a return trip to the Plains. He told SEC Country on Sunday night to expect him at Auburn sometime this fall in some capacity.
“It’s a pretty good chance,” Ford said.
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