It was a big weekend for the Auburn football program as they hosted a number of highly-ranked offensive linemen and other recruits on campus for official visits. For one of those prospects, it was not only his first trip to Auburn’s campus but his first trip to the state of Alabama.
4-star offensive lineman Preston Taumua made the trip this weekend all the way from Hawaii and was blown away by the coaching staff’s energy and involvement on his visit. Taumua already had a connection with his primary recruiter, tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua, who is from the same place that Taumua’s father is from and has already been to visit Taumua in Hawaii.
But during his official visit, he got to know head coach Hugh Freeze and his would-be position coach Jake Thornton. Their high energy and their vision for Taumua were a big deal for the visiting O-lineman, per Auburn Rivals:
"“Coach Jake (Thornton) is full of energy, I’m not gonna lie,” Taumua said. “He’s good. He gave me the spill of what their O-Line is looking like this year and if I were to come here, I feel like I’d be a freshman starting off the bat. Especially playing in the SEC, it’s the best competition.”"
Taumua is ranked as the #200 overall prospect and the #8 inside offensive lineman in the recruiting class of 2024. He is the #1 recruit out of Hawaii and has already been invited to play in the 2024 Polynesian Bowl.
Along with Auburn, Taumua has already officially visited Arizona and plans to get to his other top schools (Oregon, Nebraska, and Alabama) later this summer. The OL wants to check out the other programs before making his final decision, which he is set to do on August 24.
Currently, Taumua has one 247 Sports Crystal Ball projection to land at Oregon, and his On3 Recruiting Profile indicates that Arizona is leading his recruitment, but a lot could change over the next few months with his visits. As of now, Auburn football is in a good spot.