Auburn recruiting: Momentum building with 5-star additions, latest commitments

This offseason has been quiet for the Auburn football team and that’s a good thing. But for Auburn recruiting, it’s been one headline after another.

On Friday, the 2019 Auburn recruiting class added 4-star defensive back Zion Puckett from Spalding High School in Griffin, Ga. The previous day, 3-star defensive end Colby Wooden (6-4, 230) out or Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., committed.

Both players are ones Auburn really wanted and both are from Georgia. The 2019 Auburn recruiting class has 15 commitments and jumped from 15th to 10th in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. The Tigers are off to a quick start with the 2020 class — that one has five commitments and is ranked fourth by 247Sports.

Of course, the big news in August was when Rivals bumped the ratings of three Auburn 2019 commitments — Bo Nix, Owen Pappoe, George Pickens — from 4-star to 5-star.

Read: What Gus isn't saying should have you excited for 2018

The 2018 Auburn recruiting class was ranked 13th and did not have a single 5-star player. The 2017 class had one and finished ninth. With the talent on board for 2019, it feels impossible that this group finishes outside the top 10. If a few things fall Auburn’s way, it will be fun to watch how high the class climbs.

But again, it’s just numbers. The coaches target the players they sign for reasons. You’d be hard-pressed to find an Auburn fan not excited about the possibilities of what the current freshman class can do this season. If that’s what a No. 13 team ranking gets you, we’re OK with that.

Here’s the latest snapshot of Auburn recruiting:

2019 class

Commitments: 15

5-star: 3
4-star: 8
3-star: 4

By position: Offense (8)

QB (1): Bo Nix
WR (2): George Pickens, Ja’Varrius Johnson
TE (2): Luke Deal, Tyler Fromm
OL (3): Keiondre Jones (G), Justin Osborne (T), Jakai Clark (C)

Defense (5)

LB (1): Owen Pappoe
DE (2): Jaren Handy, Jamond Gordon, Colby Wooden
DB (1): Zion Puckett

Athlete (2)

Jashawn Sheffield, Jaylin Simpson

National recruiting rankings

Where Auburn’s 2019 recruiting class ranks as of Aug. 17

247Sports Composite: 10th (updated after Puckett decision)
Rivals: 18th (Puckett commitment not reflected)
ESPN: 14th (Puckett commitment not reflected)
Scout: 12th (updated after Puckett decision)

Where Auburn’s 2020 recruiting class ranks as of Aug. 17

247Sports Composite: 4th
Rivals: 5th
Scout: 5th

FlyWarEagle takeaways

  1. Seven of the 15 players committed to the 2019 Auburn recruiting class hail from the state of Georgia. Auburn signed eight from Georgia last year and five the year before. If Zion Puckett (the highest ranked in-state player not committed in Georgia) commits to the Tigers on Friday like most people think, that will make eight. Auburn continues recruiting the top two ranked players in the state in Georgia WR commitment Jadon Haselwood and Tennessee OL commitment Wanya Morris. The Tigers also are in the mix for 4-star RB Derrian Brown.
  2. You might be wondering this: How on Earth is the 2019 Auburn recruiting class ranked 15th when it includes three 5-star players? Good question. The easy answer to that is Auburn has 14 players committed, the fewest of any team ranked in the Top 20. If you look at the average player rating, it’s 91.18. That number is better than six teams ahead of Auburn in the rankings and on the heels of two or three others.
  3. Auburn looks like it will concede the state to Alabama this season. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (13 players have 4-star ratings or better. Auburn got the two players on their wish list in Bo Nix and George Pickens. The state’s No. 1 player remains on the board in offensive line Clay Webb. While Auburn is recruiting him hard, it’s always been an uphill climb for the player long considered a strong Alabama lean. Right now, Nix and Pickens are the only in-state commitments and that might be it for this class. AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr reported that the Tigers may have gotten in too late with Auburn High School linebacker Mohamoud Diabate and that he could be heading to Florida. He’s expected to make his college choice next week.
Next: Best-case scenarios that land Auburn in playoffs

Stay tuned here with more recruiting news as it happens. Puckett is expecting to make his decision Friday night.

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