Auburn commit Richard Jibunor strategically scheduled official visit around Kayode Oladele’s plans

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers  football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Monday, and SEC Country tells the story of how Richard Jibunor‘s official visit at the same time as Kayode Oladele wasn’t a coincidence. Also, updates on Jalen Goss, Jerome Carvin, Coynis Miller and the early signing schedule. 

Richard Jibunor scheduled OV around Kayode Oladele

AUBURN, Ala. — In his typical selfless style, Richard Jibunor timed his official visit for the greater good of the Auburn recruiting class.

Jibunor could’ve taken an official visit for the Iron Bowl or the weeks that followed, but he waited. He was gauging the recruiting interest of one of his close friends, Kayode Oladele, a fellow native Nigerian who had shown interest in Auburn ever since de-committing from Florida State. When Oladele postponed a few official visit plans, Jibunor remained patient with his own.

RELATED: 2018 Auburn recruiting big board

Once Oladele set his, Jibunor made sure to be there on his as well, side by side to ensure a commitment.

Auburn commit Richard Jibunor and target Kayode Oladele attended the Iron Bowl. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

“It was special. One of the main reasons I came this weekend was because Kayode was taking his official visit this weekend,” Jibunor said. “I knew he had been going places and we had been talking about it for a long time. I kind of planned it around him. Kayode was the main reason why I chose this weekend.”

The two were inseparable this weekend, just as they were during their overnight stays for the Iron Bowl. All the way up until Sunday morning — when Oladele left and announced his commitment — the tandem were constantly together on their official visits.

A few weeks ago, the Sunday after the Iron Bowl, Oladele told SEC Country there was an 80 percent chance he’d eventually commit to the Tigers. Jibunor said, by Saturday night, his confidence had grown to 98 percent.

All that was left was Oladele sealing the deal, which he did.

“I was happy. It has been a work in progress. Today, it turned out to be successful. I’m so hyped up. Him being a Nigerian, too, and coming in the same year and trying to hold each other accountable and just fighting to get better,” Jibunor said. “It has been for a week now that he’s been thinking, but he wasn’t really sure about it. Last night, he was pretty much 98 percent. Today, he just became 100 percent. We’re so excited about it.”

What we know about Jalen Goss’ official visit to Auburn

As you’ll notice, there were several SEC Country updates regarding Auburn official visitors this past weekend. Yet, there hasn’t been much reported on the uncommitted prospect who visited but didn’t commit over the weekend.

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Jalen Goss visited Auburn this weekend and could be an OT target to watch. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

That’s Jalen Goss.

He officially visited over the weekend with family and had a great stay, spending a lot of his time with Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Goss has been to Auburn three times in the last month, if that gives you any indication of where Goss is leaning. Michigan also is in the picture here. Goss took an official visit the previous weekend.

I’ve been told Goss will likely announce something before the early signing period begins, so by Tuesday. One thing to monitor, a source said, is Jerome Carvin. Auburn likes both at tackle, and Carvin — though he won’t announce until Wednesday — will likely come to his decision Monday. Auburn is waiting to hear the result of that one before going forward with Goss.

For what it’s worth, Goss looks great physically. He camped with the Tigers over the summer, and at the camp, coach Gus Malzahn and offensive line coach Herb Hand spent extensive time with strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell trying to decide if the smaller tackle had the frame to grow into an SEC tackle.

They decided he could at the time and waited on him throughout the season. Auburn liked what it saw enough to host him several times down the stretch, including the last official visit of the early cycle.

Coynis Miller still not signing but visited Auburn

Let’s clear one thing up: Coynis Miller visited Auburn, not Tennessee, this past weekend.

The 4-star defensive tackle commit from Birmingham, Ala., was rumored to be a potential official visitor at Tennessee over the weekend. Miller didn’t make the trip to Knoxville, but he still made a visit. He was spotted on Sunday in Auburn after an overnight stay with some of the recruits who were on official visits or set to move in as early enrollees.

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Coynis Miller is ranked the nation’s No. 15 DT and No. 163 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite. (Chris Kirschner/SEC Country)

Miller won’t use the early signing period, just as he said all along, but there isn’t a big reason to panic about this one yet.

While Auburn would love for Miller to sign early, he’s still likely to take a few visits in January, including to Alabama and Tennessee. The Tigers aren’t concerned about his commitment at this time, nor should they be. He’s rehashed multiple times that he’s committed to Auburn.

It’s possible those January visits never materialize, but if they do, it will all be part of Miller’s original plan that was approved by the Auburn staff.

Expected signing dates for Auburn recruits

These are tentative for a few reasons. Some of the commits have already moved in to participate in bowl practices, but they will leave campus for signing ceremonies or other personal reasons to finalize their letters of intent. It’s possible schedules change throughout this week, but here is an early rough draft of when to expect these Auburn commits to become Auburn signees:

  • Dec. 20: Joey Gatewood, Christian Tutt, Asa Martin, Zakoby McClain, Kam Stutts, Josh Marsh, Shedrick Jackson, Shaun Shivers, Daquan Newkirk, Michael Harris
  • Dec. 21: Jalil Irvin, Jamien Sherwood, Quindarious Monday
  • Unspecified: Richard Jibunor, Kayode Oladele, Seth Williams, Kolbi Fuqua
  • Not signing: Matthew Hill, Coynis Miller, Arryn Siposs

Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting  right here.

The post Auburn commit Richard Jibunor strategically scheduled official visit around Kayode Oladele’s plans appeared first on SEC Country.

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