Auburn football coach Wesley McGriff is key factor in 2026 DB's recruitment

Auburn football defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff has been a key factor in the recruitment of a talented DB in the recruiting class of 2026.

Co-defensive coordinator, Wesley McGriff, right, has a laugh during U of L's first spring football
Co-defensive coordinator, Wesley McGriff, right, has a laugh during U of L's first spring football / Alton Strupp/Courier Journal / USA TODAY
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Auburn football defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff has been a key factor in the recruitment of a talented DB in the recruiting class of 2026

In the month of January, weekends for the Auburn football program have been filled with hosting visiting recruits from all over the country. After solidifying a strong recruiting class of 2024, head coach Hugh Freeze and his staff have largely turned their attention to the upcoming classes of 2025 and 2026.

This past weekend, a 5-star safety from Carollton, GA, made his way to the Plains to check out the facilities, get a feel for campus, and spend time with the Tigers' coaching staff. Zelus Hicks is ranked as the #3 safety in the recruiting class of 2026 and the #4 recruit out of the Peach State.

Hicks has been to the Plains before, most recently for the November 25 Iron Bowl in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Thought he gameday atmosphere is unbeatable, Hicks said he enjoyed getting to see what an average day looks like for Auburn football players. He also got to sit down with Freeze for the first time, and said the head coach sees value in him due to his versatility.

According to Auburn Rivals, defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff has been Hicks' primary recruiter, and his return to Auburn from Texas A&M was a huge deal:

"It was very important," Hicks said. "I was shocked that he came back so quick, he was only [with Texas A&M] for like a week. When he came back it definitely surprised me. It was big that he came back.

"The main thing that he said to me was that he was here and he wants me here with him. He’s not going anywhere, so that’s big."

Though it's still early in the 2026 DB's recruitment, McGriff and Auburn are on the right track in securing Zelus Hicks' commitment.