Auburn football lost what can only be described as a “Fourth of July Shocker” on the recruiting trail for the services of Phenix City wide receiver Cameron Coleman — and On3’s Hayes Fawcett did describe Texas A&M reeling in the local product in such a way on Twitter.
Auburn football lost out because College Station “felt like home” to Coleman, a category that the Plains — which is roughly a forty-minute drive from Phenix City — should have been a shoo-in to be like to the wideout.
“What stood out about Texas A&M was how I felt like home every time I went there,” Coleman said. “From the coaching staff, to spending time with my future teammates. We are all going to stop playing football one day and that’s where the education aspect and Aggie Network comes into play and it’s an amazing network.”
Auburn football lost out on the state of Alabama’s top prospect
Perhaps what’s most shocking about Coleman spurning Auburn is that he also spurned Alabama, and the southeast in general, to take his talents to the Lone Star State. Per Fawcett, Coleman ranks as the No. 10 player in the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies, while also grading out as the No. 3 wide receiver and the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama. Coleman has an On3 NIL Valuation of $319K in potential earnings.
That neither Hugh Freeze’s nor Nick Saban’s coaching staff could edge out a Texas A&M program that lost to both during the 2022 season shows the pull that the Aggies’ boosters possess and the alignment with a coaching staff that saw overhaul during the offseason.
That’s not to say there isn’t alignment at either of the SEC powerhouses in the state of Alabama, but it does indicate that in this era of recruiting, what happens in each individual recruit’s process is more important than a program’s reputation; or even its recent results.