Auburn’s recruiting has, in a sense, reached a standstill.
The coaching staff is still working effortlessly to recruit top talent in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes, but nothing has really happened since the Tigers secured a commitment from Asa Martin in August. Commitments, as is usually the case during the season, have been put on the back burner.
Taking a look at last month’s recruiting to-do list, the Tigers left most of those tasks unfinished. They were:
- Secure a commitment from top pass rusher: Richard Jibunor was the likely choice, but his visit to Florida pushed everything back. This could be another need for October.
- Get into the mix for a highly-rated, off-the-radar target: This (sort of) happened. The Tigers have always been in the mix for Alabama commit Quay Walker, but a flip possibility seems to be more real than ever, so that’s close enough.
- Host 5-star quarterback Justin Fields on two visits: I probably should’ve waited for one visit to suggest the Tigers could get two. As I reported Sunday, the Tigers are now fully out of the game for Fields.
Auburn only has one home game this month, so the opportunity to make recruiting moves from visit standpoint will be tough to do. But there are a few things the Tiger can accomplish recruiting-wise that will make October a successful month.
Here’s the monthly to-do list.
1. Make a recruiting splash for the Ole Miss game
It’s Auburn’s only home game in October, so the Tigers need to make it count.
That’s not to say a commitment is necessary, but make the game against Ole Miss one to remember from a visitors standpoint. Get as many top targets as possible on campus all at the same time.
Auburn has had a few solid recruiting events so far this season for Georgia Southern, Mercer and Mississippi State, but this will be the last opportunity in the next month for Auburn to make an impression on the Plains.
Expect a star-studded, lengthy list of prospects for that one.
2. Beat out Florida and Alabama for Coynis Miller
Mark Oct. 14 on your calendars.
Big-time defensive tackle Coynis Miller is set to make his decision between Auburn, Alabama and Florida. Miller calls Florida his public leader, but Auburn and Alabama aren’t going to go away quietly.
The Tigers developed a relationship with Miller long before anyone else. Will Rodney Garner’s connection with Miller pay off when the decision comes down? That’s what Auburn needs to hope for.
Miller is the only Auburn target known to be making a decision in October, so it would be a huge pickup for momentum’s sake.
3. Win games, win games and win games
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Auburn’s best recruiting pitch right now is the 2017 season.
There has been an unfair amount of negative noise outside the Auburn program just because of an 8-point loss to Clemson. The back-to-back SEC wins have helped extinguish that, but as everyone knows, SEC football fans are as fickle as they come.
As long as Auburn wins games — the Tigers should beat Ole Miss, LSU and Arkansas — the recruiting element will start to take care of itself. Prospects who weren’t as interested in the Tigers previously will begin to show more interest. Recruits who just needed a little bit more evidence will start to come around on Auburn.
In other words, Auburn’s best chance to landing a top-10 class is being a 10-win football team.
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