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Notes on 8 targets from SEC Country




Auburn closing in on several commitments in 2018 class

Four-star RB Dameon Pierce says his decision might not come until National Signing Day.
Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country

AUBURN, Ala. — Much like Big Cat Weekend, Auburn didn’t end Saturday with any public commitments, but the general sentiment was that it was a successful event.


The Tigers hosted some of their top uncommitted targets, as well as a few players committed to Auburn and other schools. Check out the running live updates from the entire day.

SEC Country spoke with a few of the Tigers’ top targets in the 2018 and 2019 classes who attended the event. Here’s the latest intel.

4-star RB Dameon Pierce, Bainbridge (Ga.)

  • This was Dameon Pierce’s second visit to Auburn, both coming after his de-commitment from Alabama.
  • He visited with his mother, who he said hasn’t taken a visit outside the state of Georgia. She loved it, and he said that will help Auburn big-time.
  • As for that decision, it won’t come until after the season and could run up to National Signing Day.
  • Pierce has Auburn, Georgia and Florida in his top group. LSU could work its way in there, too, after he visits Baton Rouge. Those are the four schools likely to get official visits, which he will take after the season.
  • He already plans to make it to Auburn for the Iron Bowl, but it’s possible that isn’t his only visit.
  • What separates the Tigers? “As soon as you walk in, you’ve got someone greeting you at the car basically. You can’t beat that. It feels like you’re already at home. It’s a home away from home.”

4-star DE Caleb Tannor, Miller Grove (Ga.)

  • Caleb Tannor will announce his decision Monday on Twitter. It’s down to Georgia and Auburn.
  • Before he makes that choice, he will spend the night in Auburn along with fellow Tigers target Michael Harris, who he is close with.


    Four-star DE Caleb Tannor says it’s a close race between Auburn and Georgia. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
  • Tannor made this visit with his mother, his two brothers and his younger sister.
  • Georgia projects Tannor as an outside linebacker similar to Lorenzo Carter. Auburn sees him as a Buck edge rusher.
  • A big portion of his visit involved talking with Auburn coaches about how they expect to use him.
  • How close is the race? “Great facilities, great coaches. It’s a real good connection. It feels just like Georgia, and that’s what’s making that race so close. Great coaching. Both of them are providing the same things for me, so we’re just gonna have to see.”
  • He said he doesn’t know his choice yet. He’ll go to church Sunday and hope to get a better idea.
  • Regardless, Tannor said he’ll likely visit both programs this fall.

3-star CB Derek Turner, West Feliciana (La.)

  • Derek Turner shined at Auburn’s camp on Friday and stayed overnight for the early portion of the cookout Saturday.


    Three-star DB Derek Turner says Auburn was his first offer, and that means a lot to him. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
  • Auburn projects Turner as a cornerback rather than a safety, as he’s listed by several sites. He likely will fit into the star position with his tremendous speed and hard hitting.
  • Turner said Auburn is his top school with Ole Miss and South Carolina chasing.
  • Greg Brown began recruiting Turner immediately after he took the job, and Turner said the offer from Brown was his first. That means a lot to him.
  • Expect a decision by the end of July or in early August.

4-star LB Quay Walker, Crisp County (Ga.)

  • The Alabama commit didn’t want to do interviews, but he let everyone take a photo of him, which was interesting. Why? He was decked out in full Auburn gear. Not often an Alabama commit allows a bunch of reporters to snag a photo in full attire of the in-state rival.
  • He’s taken visits to Auburn and Georgia in the last week. He will visit again in the fall for games, so this is definitely worth watching.

4-star 2019 OLB King Mwikuta, Troup Co. (Ga.)

  • One of the nation’s top 2019 prospects still has Alabama on top, but said Auburn is in a group of three or four other schools who have a real chance to pass the Crimson Tide.


    Four-star 2019 DE King Mwikuta says his decision could come as early as December. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
  • What would Auburn have to do? The 2017 season will be one of the most persuasive factors. He likes the Tigers a lot. Now he wants to see what he loves about Auburn translate to some wins. He doesn’t need a championship season, just a sign of positivity.
  • He plans to come to multiple home games this fall, even saying he’d make it to all the home games, if possible.
  • Mwikuta says he’s “close” to a decision, but our definitions of close are slightly different. He says it could come as early as December when he sees some 2017 progress, but his decision could run until “this time next year.”
  • The two main reasons he likes Auburn: Rodney Garner and the players he knows on the team.

3-star DE Daquan Newkirk, Mississippi Gulf Coast*

  • Daquan Newkirk wasn’t planning on visit, but he said a triple-text from Garner showed him the coaching staff really wanted him on campus again, so he obliged. He said he’ll be a regular on campus this fall and will make it to as many games as possible.
  • As for his official visit, that likely will take place for the Iron Bowl.
  • Newkirk is up to about 295 pounds, but Garner wants him to cut some of that weight. He’s working to get down to 280 pounds, which probably makes him more of a defensive end, though it could be at tackle.
  • Georgia is still recruiting him, and he could take a visit there, but he’s all Auburn.

4-star WR Seth Williams, Paul W. Bryant (Ala.)

  • Seth Williams said his visit to Auburn — an overnight stay — was his first recruiting visit of the summer, but he has plans to make others before the season begins, though he declined to say where.


    Four-star WR Seth Williams says he likes Auburn’s family feel. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
  • Auburn will receive an official visit, likely for a game.
  • Williams said his relationship with Kodi Burns is one of Auburn’s biggest selling points. Burns has told him how badly Auburn wants a tall, physical receiver, which is exactly what Williams brings.
  • He said Auburn, Ole Miss and Alabama are the three schools recruiting him the hardest.
  • What keeps bringing him back to Auburn? “Probably just how the coaches, they’re real. They’re not going to hide anything from you. They’re family. Every time I come here, it feels like family. You just can’t get past that.”

3-star DB Jamien Sherwood, Jensen Beach (Fla.)

  • Jamien Sherwood was on commit watch, but that didn’t happen. Still, Auburn seems to be in excellent position.
  • He said Auburn is “at the top” and mentioned the Tigers in a group with Florida, Miami, Michigan and Oregon.


    Auburn appears in good position to land 3-star safety Jamien Sherwood. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)
  • His mom really liked Auburn for Big Cat Weekend. This time, he said she became sold on the Tigers when they showed a video “about manhood or something like that,” Sherwood said with a little bit of an eye-roll. In other words, Auburn is where Sherwood’s mom would like him to go.
  • He was going to take visits to Oregon and Michigan, but that’s not going to happen anymore.
  • Sherwood will make his decision by the beginning of August, so this one won’t last much longer.
  • If Auburn, why? “Auburn is really genuine with it. It’s not just an act. They actually are who they are. Even when they’re texting, and we talk on the phone, I can still feel the same amount of energy I do in person. That’s what I feel when I come here.”

Stay tuned

That’s all for now.

Don’t fret about the lack of public commitments. Auburn is in great position for several of its top targets, and the athletic complex has had a buzz about it the last couple of days.

Andres Fox hasn’t left yet, so there could be some details to add about the 3-star defensive end. Asa Martin didn’t speak with reporters, but you can check out the latest on him from earlier in the week.

The big target to watch going forward: Michael Harris. He’s staying overnight and won’t talk to reporters until Sunday. Auburn has supreme confidence on this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement in the near future.



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Auburn 'at the top' for 3-star safety Jamien Sherwood

Auburn remains in the top five for three-star 2018 safety Jamien Sherwood. (James Crepea/jcrepea@al.com)
Auburn remains in the top five for three-star 2018 safety Jamien Sherwood. (James Crepea/jcrepea@al.com)

Auburn is firmly in the lead for Jamien Sherwood.

After visiting the Plains for a third time, the three-star safety prospect said the Tigers are in front of his top five.

"With Auburn, it's still the same, at the top of my list," Sherwood said Saturday. "Very excited with the program and the coaches and we're just going to go from here on out."

Sherwood, who also visited during Big Cat Weekend in June, plans to make his commitment at the "beginning of August."

Auburn leads with Florida and Miami as schools he's also visited three times and Michigan and Oregon once each. Indiana is also "tied" with others.

"It's basically a split between all those schools really," Sherwood said.

Sherwood, a Jensen Beach, Fla. native, was hoping to visit Oregon or Michigan again before making his commitment but said the cost of flying was too expensive. He may visit Miami or Florida next week.

He wouldn't say Auburn was the team to beat but Sherwood still had a positive feeling about the coaching staff.

"With Auburn, I can feel they're actually genuine with it, it's not just an act," he said. "They are who they are. Even when you're texting, we talk on the phone, I can still feel the same amount of energy I feel in person."


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4-star running back Dameon Pierce plans official visit to Auburn after season

Four-star running back Dameon Pierce plans to take an official visit to Auburn after the 2017 season. (James Crepea/jcrepea@al.com)
Four-star running back Dameon Pierce plans to take an official visit to Auburn after the 2017 season. (James Crepea/jcrepea@al.com)

Since decommitting from Alabama two months ago, four-star running back Dameon Pierce has visited Auburn, Georgia and Florida.

Pierce enjoyed his second visit to the Plains and said Auburn will "of course" be a schools he takes an official visit to after the season.

"(I'll commit) anytime after the football season," Pierce said. "I'm focused on my high school season right now. Really waiting for all that to clear out. After that it's all gas no brakes after that."

Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU are all in the mix for Pierce, who does not have a leader at this point.

"It's kind of fluctuating right now in between Auburn, Florida and Georgia right now," he said Saturday. "I've got to take a visit to LSU soon and I got to get up to Georgia again and hopefully I'll have an answer."

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Pierce left the door open to being an early enrollee but stressed he plans to take official visits to all four schools after the season.

"It depends on when I make my decision," he said. "If I make my decision before the second semester of school, of course I'll be an early enrollee."

For Auburn specifically, Pierce likes the coaching staff, specifically running backs coach Tim Horton.

"What you see is what you get from Auburn," Pierce said. "I love it. ... As soon as you walk in you got somebody greeting you at the car. You can't beat that. You feel like you're already home. It's a home away from home basically. Anybody would be glad to be here."



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Auburn leads for 3-star defensive back Derek Turner

Auburn is in the lead for 3-star defensive back Derek Turner. (247Sports photo)
Auburn is in the lead for 3-star defensive back Derek Turner. (247Sports photo)

By James Crepea

Auburn leads for three-star defensive back Derek Turner and the Louisiana native plans to commit to a school as soon as the end of the month.

Turner was among the contingent of recruits to visit the Plains for this weekend's camp and cookout.

"Auburn is my top school right now and then Ole Miss and South Carolina," Turner said after his visit. "(Auburn secondary coach Greg) Brown is recruiting me the hardest."

Turner said he plans to make a commitment within a few weeks.

"Probably end of the month," he said. "Either end of July or early August."

Turner said he enjoyed his visit to Auburn and spending time with secondary coach Greg Brown, who was the first coach to offer him a scholarship.

"Coach Brown is guy I've known for a long time," Turner said. "That's a guy I really want to play for. ... I've been trying to get up here for the last couple of months. I think I did pretty well, he taught me some new things so it was pretty good."

The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Turner plays safety at West Feliciana High School in Saint Francisville, La. but is being looked at as a cornerback for the Tigers.

"Because I'm more physical at the line," Turner said. "(Brown) said I had tremendous speed so he wants to work with me at corner. But it's kind of a good transition because it helped me in the corner position. Although I play safety in high school, it's going to help me."



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Alabama leads for 2019 4-star defensive end King Mwikuta but Auburn 'always in the mix'

Alabama is the leader for Alabama leads for 2019 four-star defensive end King Mwikuta but Auburn is "always in the mix." (James Crepea/jcrepea@al.com)
Alabama is the leader for Alabama leads for 2019 four-star defensive end King Mwikuta but Auburn is "always in the mix." (James Crepea/jcrepea@al.com)

By James Crepea

Alabama leads for 2019 four-star defensive end King Mwikuta but Auburn is "always in the mix."

The LaGrange, Ga. native visited Tuscaloosa on Friday and Auburn on Saturday and while the Crimson Tide are still in the lead, things could change.

"(Alabama) still stand (as the leader) but like I said, Auburn always in the mix," he said. "I ain't going to name out no number right now, but Auburn always in the mix."

Mwikuta said the upcoming season, after which he plans to make his commitment, is going to play a big role in his decision.

"I can say one thing, it's going to be this season," he said. "If this season (Auburn) show me the things that I'm looking for, not only just winning the championship, but just showing me what can they do also like on and off the field. I'll be looking forward to (that) and then I'll be making my decision around that time."

Mwikuta said he's "real close" to committing to a school, but at the same time is not going to announce his decision until December at the earlier, if not for a year.

"I'm trying to wait till signing day but I'm itching," he said. "So I want to go ahead and make that decision soon. Maybe this time next year or either this coming December."

The 6-foot-4, 232-pound defensive end enjoyed his trip to the Plains and met with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, defensive line coach Rodney Garner and linebackers coach Travis Williams.



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Auburn 'feels like family' to Tuscaloosa WR

Bryan Matthews | Senior Editor

AUBURN | Seth Williams has been on two recruiting visits this summer — both to Auburn.

The four-star wide receiver from Paul Bryant High School in Cottondale, Ala., attended the Tigers’ cookout Saturday with his parents.

“The coaches, they are real and they’re not going to hide anything from you,” said Williams of what stood out most about Auburn. “It’s more like family. Every time I come down here it feels like it’s family. I just can’t get past that.”

Williams spent a lot of time with Auburn WR coach Kodi Burns during his visit.

Williams, 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, said that family feeling will play a big part in his recruitment.

“It’s going to be real important because I don’t want to go anywhere that I’m not going to feel comfortable,” Williams said. “I just want to feel like I’m supposed to be there, like I’m at home.”

It might seem unlikely that a highly-recruited receiver in Alabama’s backyard could end up at Auburn, but Williams is very open to that possibility.

“It’s not hard. It’s whatever school that fits you,” he said. “If you’re Tuscaloosa born and you want to go to Tuscaloosa and you stay in Tuscaloosa, you stay in Tuscaloosa. But nothing in Tuscaloosa is going to make you stay in Tuscaloosa.”

Williams’ parents have also given Auburn a positive review.

“They love it too,” Williams said. “They love wherever I feel comfortable.”

Williams’ offer list includes Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He doesn’t currently list any favorites or have a timetable for a decision.

Williams did name three schools that are recruiting him the hardest.

“Auburn, Ole Miss and Alabama,” he said.

Williams also attended Auburn’s Big Cat recruiting event in June.



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