Student Sports

Auburn Will Entertain A Group of Important Football Recruits At Its Tiger Picnic

Auburn's football coaching staff is expecting a talented group of prospects for Saturday's Tiger Picnic on the Plains.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers will have another chance to showcase their football program and campus this weekend before beginning practices on Aug. 3 with the Tiger Picnic on Saturday expected to have some of the top targets for Coach Gus Malzahn’s team.

With prospects such as juco standouts Isaiah Buggs and Brandon Martin from Mississippi Gulf Coast, Tray Bishop from Terrell County (Ga.) High and linebackers like Tyler Taylor from Buford, Ga. and K.J. Britt from Oxford scheduled to be on the Plains, it’s a big opportunity for Auburn to step to the forefront with some very big names.

Perhaps the biggest name expected to be in town is five-star safety Devon Hunter from Virginia. Making a trip to see the Tigers in June, getting Hunter back on campus is a win for the Tigers as they try to land one of the nation’s top players. Alabama, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are just some of the other programs in the mix.

A name that hasn’t been on Auburn’s list to this point, four-star cornerback Yusuf Corker from Woodland High in Stockbridge, Ga., and his brother Wallace Corker are set to visit this weekend. One of the top defensive backs in the country, Yusuf Corker has South Carolina and Tennessee high on his list, but this is a chance for the Tigers to make a move.

Chad Simmons

Yusuf Corker is planning to visit Gus Malzahn's Tigers.

One of the top junior college defenders in the nation, the four-star Buggs was on campus for Big Cat Weekend so getting him back in Auburn is a big deal for the Tigers. With an opportunity to step in next season and contribute early, Buggs is a player to keep an eye on. Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M are the top five for Buggs at the moment.

A commitment to Auburn for a few days earlier this month, the four-star wide receiver Martin re-opened his recruitment after talking at home with friends and family. The Tigers are still very much in the picture based on his visit back to Auburn this weekend with LSU another possibility.

Originally scheduled to make his decision this summer, the four-star Bishop has decided to delay his announcement following visits to both Florida and Georgia in the past two weeks. Being back at Auburn this weekend gives the Tigers another opportunity to sell him on playing quarterback in the system, something he has been interested in for well over a year.

Looking to fill the remaining spots at linebacker, Coach Travis Williams will have a couple of top targets on hand in Taylor and Britt. Another four-star prospect and high school teammates with Auburn freshman defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Taylor has the Tigers very high on his list and this weekend could be a big one for him.

A frequent visitor to Auburn, Britt is back on campus for the second time in seven days. With Auburn fighting Georgia to land the Yellow Jackets’ standout, getting him on the Plains once again is important for Williams.

Another in-state prospect who will make another trip to Auburn this weekend is four-star Ryan Johnson from St. Paul’s in Mobile. Interested in the Tigers for well over a year, Johnson is a powerful defensive end that has the size to play outside or inside on the next level. Auburn is one of several programs in the mix for Johnson.

Chad Simmons

Ryan Johnson is one of the state of Alabama's top prospects.

Fellow four-star defensive lineman Tyrone Truesdell from Laney High in Augusta, Ga., has been on the Auburn campus before and is scheduled to be back again this weekend. A powerful defensive tackle, Truesdell has Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Ole Miss and others on his list.

There is no question who is the visitor coming from the longest distance. Offensive lineman Mikey Minihan from St. Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii is planning to be in Auburn this weekend. Currently with offers from teams like Air Force, Hawaii, San Jose State and UNLV, Minihan is a player who got a visit from Offensive Line Coach Herb Hand in the spring so the three-star prospect is someone on Auburn’s radar.

Three players who were impressive at Auburn’s camps last weekend are also set to be back on campus. Getting an offer from the Tigers, safety Jordyn Peters from Muscle Shoals and cornerback Shawn Shamburger will be back this weekend. Auburn is in very good shape with both. It wouldn’t be surprising to see one or both make a commitment of things go well. A 2018 defensive back, Myles Sims from Westlake High in Atlanta is a star in the making and was one of the best players at last weekend’s junior camp on the Plains.

Rounding out the list of expected visitors is athlete JaTarvious Whitlow from Lafayette. Offered by the Tigers following a visit in June, Whitlow could play defensive back or wide receiver on the next level. Also a standout on the hardwood, he was named MVP for the South team in Wednesday’s AHSAA North-South All-Star Game in Montgomery.

Photo by Jason Caldwell
Jatarvious Whitlow plays quarterback for LaFayette High and point guard in basketball.

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