This past weekend, it was all about hosting for the Auburn football program. The Tigers hosted the #1 Georgia Bulldogs for their second SEC matchup of the season, but also played host to dozens of top-tier recruits who journeyed to the Plains for official and unofficial visits.
One of those visitors was 4-star KJ Lacey, a quarterback from Saraland, AL. Ranked as the #105 overall prospect and the #8 quarterback in the recruiting class of 2025, Lacey committed to the Texas Longhorns over the summer.
It was not Lacey’s first trip to Auburn’s campus for a game, but it sure was the best one. The last time Lacey made his way to the Plains was in 2022 when the Tigers lost 41-27 to Arkansas. It was also Bryan Harsin’s last game as head coach of Auburn football, as he was fired the next Monday. It wasn’t the best trip for Lacey, according to Auburn Rivals, but things are different now:
"“It wasn’t really the best, the atmosphere wasn’t all that,” Lacey said about his previous visit. “Now that Coach Freeze has taken over, he’s gonna turn it around. Playing against Georgia, the No. 1 team in the nation, that’s a big statement having a seven point game. They could have easily won if they could have made a couple more plays.”"
That’s why one of head coach Hugh Freeze’s goals for the next few recruiting cycles is to find those playmakers. Recruiting fell off a couple of years ago, and Freeze managed to put together a respectable roster for 2023, but once he starts bringing in his own classes in 2024 and 2025 the Tigers should start seeing improvements.
While Lacey insists that Texas is still his future home, he is still being recruited by multiple schools including Colorado, Texas A&M, and in-state Auburn and Alabama. This visit certainly gave the quarterback some things to think about, and when he returns for the Iron Bowl at the end of November, Auburn football has the chance to make a big statement.