Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Wednesday, and here’s an update on three commits. Jamien Sherwood is still hearing from Florida. Asa Martin is now a recruiter. And Matthew Hill picked up two big offers.
Despite Florida push, Auburn in ‘best shape’ for Sherwood
As Jamien Sherwood left Auburn last weekend, there were two questions that needed to be asked.
What kind of shape is Auburn in for you right now?
“The best shape,” Sherwood said.
And, on a scale of 0-100, what’s your level of commitment?
“One hundred percent,” he said without hesitation.
Sherwood — an Auburn commit since July — has shown interest in Florida, the in-state school that finished second for Sherwood. He visited the Gators a few weeks ago for the Tennessee game, and he’s expected to go back this week when Florida plays LSU.
So coming into the Auburn game last weekend, which was Sherwood’s first in Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Tigers were going to be measured against the Gators.
Auburn passed the test.
“If it didn’t match it, it was probably a little bit more. Everybody is loud. The (Florida) stadium is bigger, but it just felt like everyone was more excited (at Auburn),” Sherwood said. “It was loud. They cheer for everything. Everyone is full of excitement even when something goes wrong.”
That doesn’t mean Florida will go away quietly.
The Gators are recruiting Sherwood “very hard,” and he’s listening, at the very least. Sherwood plans to take an official visit to Florida, which will happen after the season. With Sherwood planning to sign during the Dec. 20-22 period, Auburn will have to fight Florida until the end.
“[Florida is recruiting] as if I’m not committed,” Sherwood said. “They’re coming after me hard. I don’t know how to explain it, but they’re coming after me hard.”
Sherwood thinks the Georgia game might be his official visit to Auburn, but that plan hasn’t been finalized.
With Florida’s pressure, it stands to reason Sherwood might feel more comfortable staying in-state. But Sherwood describes it oppositely from that. He’s excited to have the opportunity to step out of his comfort zone in a different state.
Plus, Auburn’s performances the last few weeks have made it an easier sell.
“It’s a little getaways from where I’m from. I get a chance to start a new life and meet new people,” Sherwood said. “It was a great game. The offense moved the ball very efficiently and very well downfield. Defense, since they came into the season, they’ve been lockdown whether it’s pass, run, anything.”
Asa Martin turned his role to recruiter
As I wrote in the weekend insider, Asa Martin has a clear message for fans about his recruitment: “It’s over.”
He will likely take his official visits, but Martin wanted to make it clear he’s not having any second thoughts about choosing the Tigers. Instead, he’s transitioned fully into a recruiter’s role, and he has the charismatic personality to do it.
Last Saturday, his primary focus was 4-star wide receiver Justyn Ross.
“We had a few conversations. We were just talking ball and about the future. You’ve kinda gotta leave it up to the other guy to pick a school, but I gotta let him know we want him bad,” Martin said. “He’s kinda hard to read. I’ve been getting good vibes, but I know him as a friend too, so it’s hard to tell. He’s a real cool guy to be around. I think we’ve got a shot.”
Martin will likely assume a similar role when Auburn hosts 4-star defensive tackle Coynis Miller for the Ole Miss game.
When he’s not recruiting, Martin has a close eye on the Auburn offense. He’s been at every home game so far this season, so Martin’s been able to watch the gradual transition from Georgia Southern to Mercer to Mississippi State.
Martin is a happy spectator.
“The offense looked amazing. It’s good to see it finally all put together. I was impressed,” Martin said. “It’s been beautiful, watching from the first few games to now. They really click and gel together. We needed that. It just takes being around each other a little more.”
Clemson giving Auburn commit ‘something to think about’
Auburn commit Matthew Hill is a highly-coveted prospect.
In the last two weeks, he’s picked up two major offers from Georgia and Clemson. Georgia is recruiting him as a wide receiver/athlete. Clemson sees him at safety.
Hill has said in the past that he wants to play receiver at the next level. So it was surprising to hear it’s Clemson, not Georgia, that has him thinking.
“The UGA offer is nothing, but Clemson is something to think about. I’m still open-minded. If I know safety is my path to success, then of course I’m going to take it,” Hill said. “But Auburn is home to me. It would take a lot to change that.”
Hill will likely take all five of his official visits to Auburn, Clemson, Alabama, South Carolina and “hopefully” LSU.
For now, there’s nothing for Auburn to fret about. He’s willing to entertain the Clemson offers, as well as take final visits to his other schools, but Auburn has been the leader from the start, and that isn’t likely to change.
On top of that, Auburn’s passing game is starting to open up, and that has caught Hill’s attention.
“It’s a big deal because I like to go up and catch the ball,” Hill said. “I know for a fact that if the O-line is blocking for the quarterback, and the quarterback is able to get the ball, I’m going to be able to make a play. They’re definitely making a difference with Jarrett [Stidham] passing the ball deep.”
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