The Auburn football program is gearing up for a busy summer hosting top-ranked recruits from all over the country, some of whom are already committed to other schools. Head coach Hugh Freeze and the staff are going head to head with neighboring schools Alabama and Georgia to pick up top talent.
Over the weekend, a 5-star athlete committed to Alabama made the trip to campus for an official visit. Jaylen Mbakwe, from Pinson, AL, is ranked as the #20 overall prospect and the #2 ATH in the recruiting class of 2024. The talented ATH is also the #4 recruit out of the state.
Auburn Rivals reports that Mbakwe has been a long time target of the Tigers, though the recruiting momentum died off when Gus Malzahn was fired and Bryan Harsin took over the program. He has visited both Auburn and Alabama a multitude of times since 2021, more than any other programs.
Although he is still firmly committed to the Tide, his official visit to the Plains has given him something to think about, and he insists that Freeze, secondary coach Wesley McGriff, and the Tigers still have a shot to land his commitment:
"“With Coach Freeze and the new staff, it kinda opened my eyes,” Mbakwe said. “Just sitting in the meeting with Coach McGriff, great guy, great coach, great all-around person. He wants you to be the best person in life and in football.”"
At this point, Mbakwe has only one other official visit planned, and that one is to Tuscaloosa later this month on June 16. Auburn football is the only other program that is still a contender in the 5-star’s recruitment, and it’s possible he returns to campus for another visit before the 2023 season.
With plenty of time before the early signing period, Freeze and the staff still have time to play catch up and steal the talented in-state recruit’s commitment.