Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Monday, and here’s an update on the top targets from the 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes.
Justyn Ross more comfortable with Auburn offense
It was fairly obvious on Saturday who the man of the hour was, at least as far as recruiting is concerned.
Justyn Ross chose to attend Auburn’s game vs. Mississippi State rather than return to Alabama or Clemson. That was by design. He had the opportunity to go to both places, but he wanted to check out Auburn since he hadn’t been in the 2017 football season.
Auburn coaches took note.
Wide receivers coach Kodi Burns spent plenty of pregame time with Ross and his family. Before and after the game, Ross had a little bit of 1-on-1 time with coach Gus Malzahn. Ross recognizes he’s a priority.
“[I wanted to come] because I haven’t been to Auburn yet [this season]. I’ve been to Clemson and Alabama. I just wanted to separate them,” Ross said. “I did [talk to Malzahn]. He’s telling me that they’re pretty low at receivers. He’s telling me how their quarterback situation is great right now.”
Auburn showed Ross attention the night before, too.
Burns attended Ross’ high school game. Ross put on a show. He recorded a long touchdown pass and also returned a punt for a score. Ross was very conscious of Burns’ presence at his high school game.
“It’s real cool having them at the games because it shows how important I am to them for them to come down to see me play,” Ross said.
He always loves Auburn when he’s there, but Ross doesn’t hide his concerns at each of his respective schools. At Auburn, Ross worried early on about the Tigers’ passing game with a new offensive coordinator and new quarterback.
On Saturday, Auburn threw for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns with completions to eight different receivers, including the only wide receiver in the last recruiting cycle, Noah Igbinoghene.
The passing game caught Ross’ attention.
“I feel like they played real good. I feel like the defense did its end. Offense played with its receivers a lot tonight,” Ross said. I feel like they showed me a lot. They’re showing me how much they can throw the ball around, get the receivers in action. Just wanting to see what they can do on the offensive side of the ball. Oh yeah, for sure, [they’re showing me what I want to see].”
There is still plenty of time for Auburn, Alabama and Clemson — the group that has emerged as his top 3 — to make their respective recruiting pitches.
Ross still doesn’t plan on deciding until National Signing Day. He has his official visits to take care of. For now, he only knows for certain that he’ll take officials to those three programs, but no dates are set.
But if Auburn has one advantage, it’s how comfortable Ross’ family is on the Plains.
“How my family adapts to it and how good of a relationship they have,” Ross said.
2019 offensive lineman names leader
For the second time in three home games, Carter Colquitt visited Auburn.
The 2019 offensive lineman didn’t hide why.
“They’re my top school right now,” Colquitt said. “I just like Auburn. I like it a lot. It feels like home. I like the people here. It’s just a good place to be. I like it a lot. It’s so great. I still love it. It still feels like home.”
Colquitt first saw Auburn for the Georgia Southern game in Week 1. There were some offensive concerns at that point, but no longer.
The Tigers cruised to a 49-10 victory over SEC West foe Mississippi State, and the improved offensive line is a big reason. Colquitt noted the offensive progression.
“I think they played really well. I think they’re starting to click. They’re going to be really good,” Colquitt said. “I feel like the whole team is just clicking better. I don’t know if it’s team bonding. I don’t know if it’s reps in practice. It just looks like they’re just playing smoother.”
Despite being a 2019 offensive lineman, Auburn is showing him plenty of attention.
Colquitt got a chance to talk with Malzahn after the game, which is always a sign of priority.
I talked to Gus after in the locker room. He told me thanks for coming down,” Colquitt said. “I talk to them a good bit. I feel like I’m up high on the list. Hopefully I’m up high on the list.”
2020 defensive lineman has Auburn on top
It’s still early for 2020 target Andy Boykin, but he’s already starting to carve out a home in Auburn.
He’s attended two of Auburn’s three home games so far this season, and that isn’t a coincidence. The Troup County (Ga.) defensive lineman communicates with defensive line coach Rodney Garner and Malzahn more regularly than coaches at any other school.
He has offers from Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Troy and Syracuse. Early in the process, there are many more sure to come.
For now, Auburn sits in prime position.
“Auburn is my leader right now. Every time I go there, they show incredible hospitality,” Boykin told SEC Country. “They show me love. I’m great with Coach Garner, Coach Malzahn. It’s just a specific bond and a family down there.”
SEC Country spoke with him on Friday night right after his team’s high school game.
He set a strangely specific request for what he wanted to see at the Auburn-Mississippi State game.
“I want to see that defense hold them to at least 12, but I’ll take anything,” Boykin said.
Boykin got his wish. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end — who thinks there’s a strong chance he winds up as a defensive tackle as he develops physically — was up close as the Tigers held Mississippi State to 10 points.
Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting right here.
The post Auburn showcases passing game for state’s No. 1 prospect Justyn Ross appeared first on SEC Country.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.