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2018 Recruiting thread (Updated 1/29/18)

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28 minutes ago, Texan4Auburn said:

Ya. Relax, focus on you and find some enjoyment somewhere.

Sorry that you have cancer and I hope everything goes well for you. I have lost family members due to cancer,  absolutely destroyed me watching how it annihilated my grandfather,  but throwing that out there at someone in a petty online football recruiting debate is low. I've seen you take plenty of shots at people here, don't play victim and guilt someone with that when they fire back. Nobody deserves that.

Well said

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Anyways...

I think there is a lot of good here and a lot of room to improve.

Ugly - this is the lowest we've finished nationally in the last 9 years here at Auburn. The reasoning could be anywhere from Gus himself, negative recruiting from others, inferior facilities, to the just ungodly levels of recruiting that Georgia accomplished this year and has already begun in 2019. We're unfortunate in the sense that we must battle Bama and Georgia for local talent and the Florida teams for talent that might not want to move so far away from home. We can improve no doubt but I think there is a bundle of factors that played into this class not being what it could have been.

Bad - We did well in the spots we covered but we failed to fill out our Offensive Line. Maybe we need to cast a wider net but one way or another we have to start having solid contingency plans. Maybe we have to start telling kids "poop or get off the pot" which I don't care for but we have to be a little smarter when it comes to addressing needs. For the love of God, start recruiting in Texas some more!

Good - still finished third in the SEC in recruiting and I believe that is with some of our players not getting the ratings they might deserve (Asa, Gatewood, Hill, and few others all seemed to be painfully underrated). We continue to have a lot of success in Georgia with recruiting, that will be important going into 2019. We filled all of our spots with room for a potential transfer!

Great - Holy receivers and secondary Batman! We really brought in some players that I think will do tremendous things for us! The defensive side of the ball should feel bolstered with youth this spring.

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7 minutes ago, Zeek said:

For the love of God, start recruiting in Texas some more!

 

Yes, yes ,yes!

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10 minutes ago, Zeek said:

Anyways...

I think there is a lot of good here and a lot of room to improve.

Ugly - this is the lowest we've finished nationally in the last 9 years here at Auburn. The reasoning could be anywhere from Gus himself, negative recruiting from others, inferior facilities, to the just ungodly levels of recruiting that Georgia accomplished this year and has already begun in 2019. We're unfortunate in the sense that we must battle Bama and Georgia for local talent and the Florida teams for talent that might not want to move so far away from home. We can improve no doubt but I think there is a bundle of factors that played into this class not being what it could have been.

Bad - We did well in the spots we covered but we failed to fill out our Offensive Line. Maybe we need to cast a wider net but one way or another we have to start having solid contingency plans. Maybe we have to start telling kids "poop or get off the pot" which I don't care for but we have to be a little smarter when it comes to addressing needs. For the love of God, start recruiting in Texas some more!

Good - still finished third in the SEC in recruiting and I believe that is with some of our players not getting the ratings they might deserve (Asa, Gatewood, Hill, and few others all seemed to be painfully underrated). We continue to have a lot of success in Georgia with recruiting, that will be important going into 2019. We filled all of our spots with room for a potential transfer!

Great - Holy receivers and secondary Batman! We really brought in some players that I think will do tremendous things for us! The defensive side of the ball should feel bolstered with youth this spring.

I think we have a grossly underrated recruiting class. It's also not like we haven't been beating Alabama and Georgia for recruits they wanted, McCreary for example would be a 4 star if he chose Alabama. It's all about perspective.

And besides, talent will only take you so far. Development is much more crucial in my opinion.

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17 minutes ago, JBiGGiE said:

And besides, talent will only take you so far. Development is much more crucial in my opinion.

PREACH!

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32 minutes ago, Zeek said:

Anyways...

I think there is a lot of good here and a lot of room to improve.

Ugly - this is the lowest we've finished nationally in the last 9 years here at Auburn. The reasoning could be anywhere from Gus himself, negative recruiting from others, inferior facilities, to the just ungodly levels of recruiting that Georgia accomplished this year and has already begun in 2019. We're unfortunate in the sense that we must battle Bama and Georgia for local talent and the Florida teams for talent that might not want to move so far away from home. We can improve no doubt but I think there is a bundle of factors that played into this class not being what it could have been.

Bad - We did well in the spots we covered but we failed to fill out our Offensive Line. Maybe we need to cast a wider net but one way or another we have to start having solid contingency plans. Maybe we have to start telling kids "poop or get off the pot" which I don't care for but we have to be a little smarter when it comes to addressing needs. For the love of God, start recruiting in Texas some more!

Good - still finished third in the SEC in recruiting and I believe that is with some of our players not getting the ratings they might deserve (Asa, Gatewood, Hill, and few others all seemed to be painfully underrated). We continue to have a lot of success in Georgia with recruiting, that will be important going into 2019. We filled all of our spots with room for a potential transfer!

Great - Holy receivers and secondary Batman! We really brought in some players that I think will do tremendous things for us! The defensive side of the ball should feel bolstered with youth this spring.

I know we were/are hoping for the best, but to be frank, I'm not sure we should have expected much more.

With our OG commits already signed and no OT prospects committed, we replaced the position coach three weeks before NSD.  The fact that we brought in a guy with a reputation for being an average recruiter only made the situation more difficult.  Just our bad luck it happened at a position of need.  

This is by no means an argument for fighting tooth and nail to keep Hand, just an observation about how such moves don't happen in a vacuum.  As I understand it, when Hand left it cost us a ton of momentum with OTs Gouraige and Barnes.  

I believe it was H.P. Lovecraft that said, "From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent."  Might have been Alanis Morissette, I get them mixed up sometimes.

WDE!

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This class would have been top ten in 2017 and our average was higher than last year, so being 12 is not as bad as some might think!

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These aren’t always the stories fans want to read.

But they’re the ones that give the best picture of how hard these college decisions can be.

Four-star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase woke up the morning of his National Signing Day commitment with uncertainty remaining. He knew he’d be a Tiger. But in which state? At which school? The decision came down to Auburn and LSU, but ultimately the Metairie, La., native chose the in-state team.

His decision truly came down to the final moments.

“This morning when I woke up,” Chase told SEC Country. “The night before when I went to sleep, Auburn was on my mind. That’s where I wanted to go at first, but I had to follow my heart. I prayed about it. It’s been a hard few days coming back from my Auburn official, so I prayed on everything.”

In the end, family became a major factor.

Not that his family prevented him from going to Auburn, just the idea of having people close enough to attend most, if not all games, was too tough for Chase to pass up. Despite committing to Kansas and Florida throughout the process, Chase felt by the end of the process it made more sense to stay closer to home.

LSU gained from that choice.

“They just wanted to make sure they could make games and watch me play,” Chase said. “They couldn’t make every game at Auburn, so I thought about that and by them coming up there for every home game would be a 4-hour drive vs. LSU being a 1-hour drive. Them being closer will be better for them.”

Chase’s father, Jimmy, joined Ja’Marr on his official visit.

The Chases tried to come to the Plains on two previous occasions. Chase attempted to attend an Auburn home game toward the end of the season. He was injured during his Friday night game, which forced him to rearrange plans. Chase was scheduled for a Jan. 19 official visit to Auburn. That, too, had to be rescheduled.

To Jimmy Chase, as they searched for reasons to choose one, those previous trips felt like a telling omen.

“Auburn made a serious push at the end. They came on strong, but you have to understand that we didn’t have enough time with Auburn to build a relationship. Every time we were scheduled to go to Auburn, something came up,” Jimmy Chase said. “It was a sign more or less.”

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3-star defensive lineman Caleb Johnson — Auburn

  • Caleb Johnson didn’t expect to be an Auburn Tiger before the calendar turned to 2018. When I went to go see Johnson in September — shortly after putting him in my August class projection (humble brag) — all he wanted to talk about was Georgia and Tennessee. Those were the two schools he really liked. Those were the two schools he wanted to visit. As for Auburn, well, he didn’t know enough about that staff even though he’d visited there a few times and held an offer.
  • Fast forward a couple weeks, Johnson started showing up on campus with more regularity, but it was almost exclusively for game days. That’s not always the best opportunity to get to know coaches because they’re doing their standard game day routines that involve recruiting after the game, which is generally a mad house. With five game visits in the 2017 season, Johnson became much more comfortable with the environment and atmosphere, but he was still yearning for more of a relationship with the coaching staff.
  • That picked up in January. They weren’t making regular in-home visits, but Johnson set up an official visit. That’s when Auburn took the lead for good. Johnson and his mother spent a lot of time with the coaching staff, not just Rodney Garner, and the home feel started to creep in. It was Johnson’s last official visit, but he still didn’t know how scholarship space would shake out. In the end, Auburn came in and confirmed the spot. Johnson didn’t hesitate.
  • Here’s a little anecdote on Johnson worth noting, as well. I spoke with a source after the Iron Bowl about defensive line prospects at that game intriguing to Auburn. The source rattled off a couple names there, but given the confidence at the time with Andres Fox — who was later accepted to Stanford — it was possible the Tigers didn’t add anymore. Right before the conversation concluded, I asked what the thought was on Caleb Johnson. The source stopped to prepare for a well-thought answer on the subject. In summation, Auburn was really high on Johnson: High character and supremely athletic for his position. Johnson was always a prospect Auburn planned to circle back around on if Fox went a different direction.

4-star wide receiver Justyn Ross — Clemson

  • As much as everyone tried to turn this into an Alabama-Clemson battle, Auburn was very much in this. Ross didn’t have a decision by Tuesday night and stayed in touch with all schools throughout that night and the following morning. Auburn coaches were aware there was a fighting chance, which is why the Tigers didn’t throw out any late offers (more at the third subhead). In fact, Auburn has been given reason to believe, by Ross, that the Tigers were actually the program to finish second in this recruitment.
  • A lot was made late of the two in-state schools. Alabama and Auburn were the only ones to host him on official visits in January. Ross hadn’t been to Clemson since November. But that shows what kind of impression those Tigers made on Ross since the beginning. I wrote it throughout the fall — and it’s what led me to putting in the first Crystal Ball for Ross to Clemson — but every time Ross talked about Clemson and his visits there, he gushed in a way he didn’t about the other two.
  • At the end of the day, Clemson tends to open up its offense more for wide receiver. That program has a much better NFL pedigree at wide receiver recently than the other two schools. Ultimately, that helped ease Ross into his decision.

4-star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase — LSU

  • Here’s another decision that wasn’t made until the 11th hour. Chase made up his mind Wednesday morning, but again, his final decision came to late to alert a prospect such as Cam Taylor about a potential offer. Chase stuck with the home-state school.
  • Chase’s father suggested to SEC Country that Auburn could’ve made a stronger push if not for some factors out of its control. Auburn fought hard at the end for the last official visit weekend, but Chase’s father admitted that every time they tried to visit the Plains, something came up to prevent it from happening. The Chase family saw that, more or less, as a sign.

3-star athlete Cam Taylor — Nebraska

  • Cam Taylor held out for an Auburn offer until National Signing Day, just as he always said he would. But in the end, he didn’t feel he needed to wait any longer than he already had. That’s why he went ahead and chose Nebraska during his school’s 9 a.m. CT ceremony. The timing of that ceremony became quite interesting given the ultimate decisions made by Ross and Chase.
  • Taylor was made aware by defensive coordinator Kevin Steele what the deal was with his pending offer. As it was relayed to Taylor, there were two wide receivers still out there who could fill the scholarship spot potentially being left open for Taylor. Those two wide receivers were Chase and Ross who, as mentioned above, were much closer to picking Auburn than many realized. While Taylor appreciated Steele’s transparency, he felt it wasn’t worth waiting to see what other prospects decided.
  • According to my sourcing, this one caused an internal discussion within the Auburn coaching staff. Several on the defensive side were pushing to offer and take Taylor early in the morning before Ross and Chase announced. The final decision went the opposite direction. Whether or not that will be viewed as a regret is irrelevant. Hindsight is 20/20.

4-star defensive lineman Malik Langham — Florida

  • This decision was relayed to all three Auburn, Alabama and Florida coaching staffs on Tuesday. However, that didn’t stop each of them from continuing to recruit Langham until he signed the dotted line. From my understanding, despite Langham telling everyone it was Florida, Alabama tried to make a much bigger late push than Auburn did.
  • Langham is a perfect example of relationships being everything in recruiting. Alabama offered in December and didn’t start its push until late. Auburn came in a month after that and really scrambled to get involved in this one. Ultimately, it was Florida who won out, but it had more to do with Dan Mullen than the Gators. Mullen offered Langham way back in the spring while at Mississippi State and re-offered immediately after taking over at Florida. That long-standing relationship helped the Gators win out.
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Quoting from above: " Chase’s father admitted that every time they tried to visit the Plains, something came up to prevent it from happening. The Chase family saw that, more or less, as a sign."

Well yes. If the family really wants him to go to LSU and is looking for excuses, failing to make scheduled trips can be taken as "A Sign", I suppose. As the old saying goes, "whatever works for you".

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1 hour ago, Mikey said:

Quoting from above: " Chase’s father admitted that every time they tried to visit the Plains, something came up to prevent it from happening. The Chase family saw that, more or less, as a sign."

Well yes. If the family really wants him to go to LSU and is looking for excuses, failing to make scheduled trips can be taken as "A Sign", I suppose. As the old saying goes, "whatever works for you".

Somewhat agree, but the 2nd trip was cancelled because of the snow in Auburn.  AU cancelled on him.

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3 hours ago, AUDevil said:

Not taking Cam was dumb....had enough WRs already.

I don't think you forget about a high 4* receiver in favor of a 3* DB. I don't know much about Chase but Ross is a game-breaker. Had either Ross or Chase signed with us, Hill would have been moved to DB and both pisitions would have been covered.

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5 minutes ago, Mikey said:

I don't think you forget about a high 4* receiver in favor of a 3* DB. I don't know much about Chase but Ross is a game-breaker. Had either Ross or Chase signed with us, Hill would have been moved to DB and both pisitions would have been covered.

Chase is better right now than Ross. Ross just has prototypical NFL number 1 WR size He has the higher upside. I would of been fine with either. The kid wanted Auburn and everyone else wanted LSU. That is how it goes a lot in that state. Wish he would of held firm like Landon Collins did though and gone where he wanted to.

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On 2/7/2018 at 7:38 AM, AUIH1 said:

My diet has had more fiber due to cancer treatment.  Any more advice?

wde

regardless of all of the banter we have on this site, we are still Auburn family and I wish you the absolute best with your cancer treatment. Will say a prayer for your healing my friend!

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I really think we hit a home run with Caleb Johnson. Just watching his highlights shows you see a player who goes all out and delivers a lasting hit that makes the offensive player think twice about heading in his direction. I do not see him as a diamond in the rough, but a polished diamond and one that will shine even greater once he starts his career in 2018. I think he very well may see the field in 2018.  I like him as a DT verses a DE. He could do well at either position with the right coaching. Upside is the best way to label Caleb in that he has strong upside coming in this summer and fall.

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I've focused less on recruiting this year as I had in years past. Sounds like while AU didn't land a few really needed / wanted players, the class still is one many others in the SEC wouldn't mind having.  3rd best in the conference, and room to add 1 or 2 more, should something develop. Nice that 8 are already enrolled, so the next step is to get the rest in, situated and ready to hit the field. 

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On 2/8/2018 at 3:05 PM, Zeek said:

Anyways...

I think there is a lot of good here and a lot of room to improve.

Ugly - this is the lowest we've finished nationally in the last 9 years here at Auburn. The reasoning could be anywhere from Gus himself, negative recruiting from others, inferior facilities, to the just ungodly levels of recruiting that Georgia accomplished this year and has already begun in 2019. We're unfortunate in the sense that we must battle Bama and Georgia for local talent and the Florida teams for talent that might not want to move so far away from home. We can improve no doubt but I think there is a bundle of factors that played into this class not being what it could have been.

Bad - We did well in the spots we covered but we failed to fill out our Offensive Line. Maybe we need to cast a wider net but one way or another we have to start having solid contingency plans. Maybe we have to start telling kids "poop or get off the pot" which I don't care for but we have to be a little smarter when it comes to addressing needs. For the love of God, start recruiting in Texas some more!

Good - still finished third in the SEC in recruiting and I believe that is with some of our players not getting the ratings they might deserve (Asa, Gatewood, Hill, and few others all seemed to be painfully underrated). We continue to have a lot of success in Georgia with recruiting, that will be important going into 2019. We filled all of our spots with room for a potential transfer!

Great - Holy receivers and secondary Batman! We really brought in some players that I think will do tremendous things for us! The defensive side of the ball should feel bolstered with youth this spring.

Spot on Post! Regarding negative recruiting, the best way to drown it out is winning big and turning up the noise on the postitive recruiting. We need a monster class in 2019!

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On 2/9/2018 at 5:06 PM, GwillMac6 said:

Chase is better right now than Ross. Ross just has prototypical NFL number 1 WR size He has the higher upside. I would of been fine with either. The kid wanted Auburn and everyone else wanted LSU. That is how it goes a lot in that state. Wish he would of held firm like Landon Collins did though and gone where he wanted to.

Having lived in Louisiana during some middle school through high school years, anyone and everyone who played sports dreamed about playing for LSU. The fact that any of those kids leave the state to play somewhere else is pretty amazing. We had 2 guys on my football team with Auburn offers and they chose to stay home and give up football rather than leave the state. Having been born and raised an Auburn fan - it stunned me. LOL

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2 hours ago, auburn4ever said:

We only signed 2 OL, no TE's. and not enough CB's. Sad.

I bet your a blast at a party 🎉 

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