Recruiting Tracker: Who’s next for the Tigers?

Auburn has already set itself up for a big summer on the recruiting trail.

The month of May was monumental for momentum, to get the ball rolling, adding five commitments in the 2021 class. As it stands, the Tigers have the 19th best class with nine verbal commits, seven of which are four-star prospects according to the ESPN Recruiting Nation rankings.

June is certain to be another critical month for Gus Malzahn’s staff. Here’s a glimpse at who could be next off the board…

(list moves from top to bottom in confidence level)

-Landen King (3-star TE), Atascocita High School (Tex.): 

Chad Morris has his sights set on another uber athletic tight end.

King, a former Texas commit, is expected to come to a decision in the next few weeks and is the leading candidate in this group to be the Tigers next addition to the 2021 class. At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, he possesses the ability to line up as a receiver or at tight end/H-back. King has quick feet and above-average speed for a prospect at his size and position so his versatility would be a major plus for Morris and Malzahn. I would be surprised if King doesn’t commit to Auburn in the coming weeks.

-Christian Leary (4-star WR), Edgewater High School (Fla.):

Leary is the top receiver on Auburn’s board right now, one that it would like to pair with current quarterback commit Dematrius Davis.

The Florida product listed the Tigers high on his list, in the group of finalists with Alabama and Florida. Right now, the Tigers are trending in the right direction, due in large part to the relationship Leary has built with not only Davis but also receivers coach Kodi Burns. He originally planned to commit June 6 but has since decided against, electing instead to move the announcement to later this summer. Auburn is in a good spot here but I think Alabama still looms larger.

247Sports Scouting Report: Shorter in stature with a thick, developed lower body. Has added around ten pounds of mass from his sophomore to junior years of high school One of the faster wide receivers on the track in the 2021 cycle and posted some sensational times in the 100 meters early in the spring prior to his senior season. Helped Edgewater to a state title berth as a junior. Productive as a receiver and direct-snap run threat. Transfers his high-level top-end speed to the football field. Pulls away from defenders with ease once in the open field with a long, explosive stride. Dangerous in several facets and a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. Skilled in the open field, whether it’s in catch and run situations, as a rusher or return man. Also has the play strength to run with some power. Shows ability to locate and track the ball as a downfield target. Looks like a multi-purpose, versatile offensive weapon at the next level. Will need to continue adding to his skill set as a route-runner as he runs a fairly limited route tree to this point- even more important for a shorter wide receiver. Projects as a Power Five starter with the upside to develop into a NFL Draft selection.

NFL player comparison: Andy Isabella

-Jeremiah Williams (4-star DE), Ramsay High School (Ala.): 

Williams has the makings of yet another edge rusher that could wreak havoc in Kevin Steele’s defense.

He listed Auburn, along with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma, in his final six schools. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Buck is the No. 5 prospect in the state of Alabama and is one of the only top-10 prospects from the state still uncommitted. It looks to be an Iron Bowl race for Williams, so its really too early to tell who leads at this point but I do think Auburn and Alabama are the top contenders. He has not set a date for his commitment as of now.

247Sports Scouting Report: Light edge rusher that needs to add mass at the next level. Has the versatility to line up with a hand down, in a stand up role on the edge or as an off-the-ball linebacker. Extremely patient and instinctive player. Trusts his athleticism. Runs well in space and will strike and accelerate through contact. Comfortable and aware in pass drops. Plays with great timing as a second level pass rusher. Nimble and intuitive in tight areas. Has the want-to and athleticism to fight through blocks to turn the corner as a pass rusher. Great closing speed to the football. There is some frame and body type uncertainty as a line-of-scrimmage defender. Impact Power Five starter that has the ability to be an early round NFL Draft pick.

NFL player comparison: Rashaan Evans

-Ga’Quincy McKinstry  (5-star CB), Pinson Valley High School (Ala.): 

McKinstry is another top-10 prospect from the state of Alabama yet to commit.

The five-star and top-ranked player in the state, nicknamed “Kool Aid”, had a number of SEC schools in his final five including Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and LSU, with Clemson being the fifth. McKinstry is a two-sport star which could bode well for the Tigers if he wants to also play for Bruce Pearl and he’s also from Pinson Valley so Auburn quarterback Bo Nix has been doing some of his own recruiting. This one, much like Williams, seems to be a battle between the in-state rivals. Alabama has been confident for the majority of this process but McKinstry is unpredictable so you can’t rule out Auburn.

247Sports Scouting Report: Possesses a lean build with good length and stature for a cornerback. Tested as a good athlete prior to his junior season and should continue making progress on that front as he spends more time in the weight room over the next few years. In addition to the football field, shows his athleticism as an above-the-rim basketball player and one of the better hoopers in Alabama. Is an outstanding and productive two-way player on the gridiron, starring as a receiver and corner for Pinson Valley. Has elite ball skills as a corner and would also be a top prospect as a receiver if he wanted. Shows the ability to consistently pluck the ball at his highest point and win in contested situations on both sides of the ball. In addition to high-pointing and out-jumping the competition, also shows the ability to locate and track the ball downfield. Makes difficult plays at a high rate and finds multiple ways to effect the game. Instinctive in coverage and shows the ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and break on the ball. Impresses with his competitive nature. Will need to continue honing his coverage technique as a cornerback, which should come once he focuses on the sport and position full time. Projcts as an impact multi-year starter at the Power 5 level with the upside of developing into an early round draft pick.

NFL player comparison: Marcus Peters