Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Friday, and SEC Country gives the latest on Richard Jibunor, Auburn commits visiting elsewhere, Coynis Miller‘s decision, Andres Fox‘s silent commitment, an underrated cornerback to watch and the preliminary Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game confirmations.
Auburn still the favorite for Richard Jibunor?
Richard Jibunor has a routine when he visits Auburn.
He goes to the game. And when he talks about the experiences, he always repeats the same word over and over again: “Awesome.”
It was no different when he left after the Ole Miss game. Jibunor didn’t want to reveal anything about his top 3 schools, leaving it even between Auburn, Tennessee and Florida with a month or so before he’d like to make a decision.
When asked if Auburn was, in fact, the leader, Jibunor worked his way around the question — but in a telling way.
“For me, Auburn is Auburn,” he said.
What does Auburn mean to him?
It’s the place he fell in love with before his recruitment started, simply because he wanted to cheer for his close friend, Prince Tega Wanogho, who’d chosen the Tigers. It’s the place he fell in love with when the Tigers became one of the first big-time schools to recruit him. It’s the place he fell in love with on every visit. It’s the place he fell in love with because of his rich relationship with assistant coaches Rodney Garner and Travis Williams.
Yet, he hasn’t committed, despite Auburn’s pleas.
“They just told me, ‘Are you ready? Are you ready? Just put it in. We’re waiting,'” Jibunor said. “They just want me to commit. It’s a blessing. I thank God for that. It makes me feel blessed to be able to have the opportunity to do something good with football.”
Jibunor has a few Athens Christian (Ga.) people advising him about his recruitment, which is the main reason he hasn’t committed yet.
They’ve wisely suggested he take a little bit more time to communicate with coaches from Auburn, Tennessee and Florida. They’ve also recommended he make it down for at least one more Florida trip since he’s only visited once.
Based on those discussions with mentors, Jibunor will have a decision sometime in November. He’ll commit then and likely take his official visits in December. He isn’t an early enrollee, but Jibunor will use the early signing period in December.
Auburn commits visiting elsewhere?
Much like Auburn has tempted Alabama commits with recent visits (see Quay Walker), the Crimson Tide will attempt to do the same.
No surprise, Alabama will host a solid set of visitors this weekend against Arkansas, as reported by our Alabama reporter Chris Kirschner. Running back Asa Martin is expected to make his first known visit to Tuscaloosa since committing to Auburn over Alabama. I’ll keep you posted on whether that visit takes place. George Pickens, a 2019 commit, also is a likely visitor on Saturday.
Here’s other relevant Auburn prospects who could attend Alabama’s game:
- 4-star TE Luke Ford
- 3-star TE Michael Parker
- 3-star DE Tobe Umerah
- 4-star WR Seth Williams
- JUCO CB Saivion Smith
- 2019 LB Jalen Sims
- 2019 LB King Mwikuta
On the topic of commits visiting elsewhere, we’ve kept you versed on the potential visit plans for Martin, Quindarious Monday and Jamien Sherwood. Another commit who is still testing waters elsewhere — though I wouldn’t come anywhere close to a panic button yet — is 4-star wide receiver Matthew Hill.
He’s been at Clemson twice this fall since committing to Auburn. He said following his most recent Auburn visit that the Clemson offer was giving him “something to think about,” so these visits are probably something for Auburn coaches and fans to think about, too.
What’s interesting, however, is that Clemson is recruiting him as a safety rather than a wide receiver, which goes against Hill’s preference. As someone who grew up an Auburn fan, it’d be hard for me to believe Clemson could be a true factor when it’s not even recruiting him at his preferred position.
With that said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Hill take an official visit to Clemson. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if you ended up seeing Hill, Martin and Justyn Ross all in Clemson for the same official visit weekend.
What to make of Coynis Miller’s decision
With roughly 24 hours until Coynis Miller’s decision, nothing has changed in my mind.
I expect Miller to choose Auburn over Alabama and Florida.
I filled in my most recent thoughts in the weekend insider, which came on the heels of a quick Miller report after his high school game last Thursday. It was in that report that Miller admitted the destination of his final game visit would be crucial in his decision.
He’s called Florida his leader since he visited for a camp, but that’s his only trip there. Miller said Alabama leveled up with Auburn last weekend while wearing Crimson Tide gloves for his game.
But the relationships at Auburn and Garner, the Tigers’ defensive line coach, will be the key.
Expect full coverage on Miller’s decision Saturday.
More details on Andres Fox’s situation
If you missed my prior write-up on Andres Fox and my thoughts on his interesting postgame conversation last weekend, check it out here.
I’ve been given even more confidence that Auburn is in a great spot here. The way we describe this going forward may need to be tweaked. Fox OK’d the use of the term silent commitment on Saturday, but in a conversation with AL.com reporter Ben Thomas, he backed off that specific phrasing.
From my understanding, Fox has told one specific program that’s where he wants to be. I firmly believe it to be Auburn, but the classification as “silent commitment” could be slightly overstating it.
Silent commitment or not, Auburn is the team to beat here. But it’s always been a dream of Fox’s to have a Signing Day ceremony, so he intends to wait until then to announce any kind of formal decision.
There’s a lot of time between now and February.
Keep eye on Memphis cornerback commit
This is just a quick note, but it’s something for everyone to file away for later.
Remember the name: CD Daniels.
He’s a 3-star cornerback committed to Memphis who, as you’ll see later, has recently been named to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. I’m a huge fan of his midseason film. My less-than-educated scouting opinion is he covers as well as anyone I’ve watched this fall and isn’t afraid — rather eager — to step into the backfield to hit someone.
He visited Auburn for the Ole Miss game and he plans to be back for the Georgia and Alabama games, as will a ton of other recruits.
I’ve confirmed that Auburn is taking a serious look into Daniels as he finishes out his senior season. He’s a 6-foot-2, 170-pound cornerback.
Will the Tigers offer? That’s the big question. But he’s certainly among the group Auburn will consider down the stretch as it attempts to sort out its plan to add a cornerback or two to the class.
Check out his film for yourself.
Relevant cornerback names on the board now: Smith, Kyler McMichael, Derek Turner, JaKorey Hawkins, Keith Washington and Jamari Brown. Don’t be surprised to see others, especially from the junior college level.
Early Alabama-Mississippi all-star invitees
The full rosters for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game will be announced in full on Friday.
Several of the invitees have already made their nominations known. The all-star game sent out game invites and jerseys throughout this week to the top performers in the state of Alabama who will represent the state in the games. Many are of interest to Auburn.
In the 2016 game, 3-star WR Noah Igbinoghene, 4-star ATH Malcolm Askew, 3-star safety Jordyn Peters, 4-star LB KJ Britt and 3-star DT Alec Jackson represented the Tigers in the game.
Check out the commits and targets who have already announced their invitation. Commits are marked by asterisks.
- 3-star ATH Josh Marsh*
- 4-star DT Coynis Miller
- 3-star WR Shedrick Jackson*
- 3-star LB La’Dedric Jackson
- 4-star OL Tank Jenkins
- 3-star CB JaKorey Hawkins
- 4-star WR Justyn Ross
- 3-star TE Michael Parker
- 3-star CB CD Daniels
There will be more to come when full rosters are released. Martin, for one, seems like a lock. I’d also anticipate seeing guys such as Fox, Seth Williams, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Harold Joiner and many others who could pop up on the Tigers’ radar in coming months.
Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting right here.
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