Ranked No. 7 in the nation by ESPN and No. 9 by 247 Sports, Auburn football's 2018 class closed the door on their high school legacies and began their journey toward a career on The Plains on the first day of the 2017-18 early signing period.
15 of Auburn's 20 commitments signed with the Tigers on Wednesday. Four remaining commits yet to sign -- wide receiver Matthew Hill, defensive tackle Coynis Miller, safety Kolbi Fuqua and punter Arryn Siposs -- will not use the Dec. 20 to Dec. 22 signing window.
From earliest to latest signing time, here are the 15 recruits that sent their letters of intent Gus Malzahn's way on Wednesday.
ASA MARTIN | 4-star | Running back | Decatur, Ala.
Malzahn was able to pull Martin, the No.1 tailback in the state, away from Nick Saban and Alabama back in August, serving as Auburn's 13th recruit in the class. Martin is ranked in the Top 10 of running backs nationally by both ESPN and 247 Sports.
Malzahn: "He's very versatile. Reminds us a lot of Kerryon Johnson."
JOEY GATEWOOD | 4-star | Quarterback (Dual-threat) | Jacksonville, Ala.
Gatewood, who verbally committed all the way back in December of 2015, has already drawn numerous comparisons to former Auburn Tiger and Heisman winner Cam Newton. Gatewood's raw athletic frame of 6-foot-5, 235 pounds will do that. Fans can expect a QB battle between the Floridian and Malik Willis in the post-Jarrett Stidham era.
"If he walked into the room, he'd look like Cam Newton."
QUINDARIOUS "SMOKE" MONDAY | 4-star | Safety | Atlanta, Ga.
Monday will look to replace graduating safeties Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts. Monday brings a similar playing style to the defensive backs room: hard-hitting, fast and a ball-hawk mentality.
"Tall, rangy guy, really plays with an edge. Plays safety and corner."
JOSH MARSH | 3-star | Safety/Linebacker | Decatur, Ala.
The Tigers' second commit from the Decatur area was listed in high school as an outside linebacker and played all over the defensive side of the ball. Marsh, a lifelong Auburn fan (he committed on the same day he was offered), will likely fill the back-end safety void at Auburn.
"I think he ran a 4.48 at our camp."
DAQUAN NEWKIRK | 4-star | Defensive end | Orlando, Fla.
Auburn's lone JUCO commit in the 2018 class actually committed to Malzahn back in 2016. Two years later, after a pit stop at a community college in Mississippi, Newkirk is on his way to The Plains. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound pass rusher will add to Auburn's already dominant defensive front.
"Just an athletic guy, really excited about him."
JAMIEN SHERWOOD | 4-star | Safety | Jensen Beach, Fla.
Another defensive back addition for Auburn, Sherwood earned his fourth star during his senior year. Sherwood has been committed to Kevin Steele and the Auburn defense since he was a 3-star prospect.
"I know a lot of schools were recruiting him to play offense, he's got that ability."
CHRISTIAN TUTT | 4-star | Cornerback | Thomson, Ga.
Tutt's midseason visit to The Plains made Auburn his favorite over Ohio State, and the corner's time on the sidelines during Auburn's 40-17 win over Georgia in November sealed the deal. An all-around athlete, Tutt should see playing time his true freshman season in the likely depleted secondary.
"He's got very good ball skills, and he's a very good returner. What stands out to me is his competitiveness."
MICHAEL HARRIS | 4-star | Linebacker | Tucker, Ga.
Like Tutt, Harris was swayed from Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes by the eccentric recruiting efforts from Larry Porter and Travis Williams. The summer 2017 commit's explosive play-making ability off the edge adds to Auburn's plethora of quarterback nightmare fuel.
"He can play all the positions, he can rush the passer."
SHAUN SHIVERS | 4-star | Running back | Hollywood, Fla.
Shivers embodies the stereotype of freakish Florida athletes: small and nimble, but lightning-quick. The 5-foot-6 all-around back produced 27 touchdowns in his senior season, along with a 216-yard showing in Chaminade-Madonna Prep's State Championship victory. However, with Martin's presence as a more capable every-down back, we likely won't see Shivers on the field until Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson have moved on.
"He's really one of the leaders of this class that helped with recruiting. Plays a lot bigger than he is, reminds me of Onterio Mccalebb."
KAMERON STUTTS | 3-star | Guard | Killen, Ala.
Herb Hand's 2018 recruiting got its first prospect early Wednesday in the 6-foot-5, 320-pound, in-state Stutts.
"Really competitive, we think his best days are ahead of him."
JALIL IRVIN | 4-star | Guard | Stone Mountain, Ga.
Irvin was told by Hand that he will likely make the move from guard to center in order to work into Auburn's fly wheel of an offensive line. A versatile interior guard, like Irvin, should fit well into an ever-changing group that was a finalist for the 2017 Joe Moore Award for the nation's top offensive line.
"He'll play center for us. He's got a good upside, very athletic."
ZAKOBY MCCLAIN | 4-star | Linebacker | Valdosta, Ga.
McClain's Iron Bowl visit closed the door on his recruiting process, as the 6-foot defender committed on the following Monday.
"Very physical, he's like a heat-seeking missile going to the ball."
SETH WILLIAMS | 4-star | Wide receiver | Cottondale, Ala.
Arguably the top skill position player in the state, Williams' verbal commitment to Auburn was no sure thing, as the Paul W. Bryant receiver was still to be heavily courted by the Crimson Tide. However, the early signing day inking from the 6-foot-3 possession receiver affirmed one of Auburn's most important offensive weapons for the future.
"Big-time athlete from Tuscaloosa, we haven't got very many guys from there in the past."
SHEDRICK JACKSON | 3-star | Wide receiver | Hoover, Ala.
Nephew of Auburn legend Bo Jackson, Shedrick will likely be asked to play a multitude of skill positions as a Tiger. Like his uncle, Jackson is wicked fast off the snap. The receiver recorded touchdowns at Hoover in all phases of the game.
"He's so polished. Came to our camp, did a great job with route running. Ran a 4.4."
KAYODE OLADELE | 4-star | Defensive end | Miami, Fla.
Auburn's most recent and 20th commit of the 2018 class, Oladele was formerly committed to play for Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. Whether it was Fisher's move to Texas A&M or not, the Nigerian's signing continued to add to Auburn's athletic ability on the defensive line.
"We think he's going to be an excellent pass rusher. We really like his personality."
Thanksgiving commit Richard Jibunor has yet to send in his letter of intent as expected. The Plainsman will continue to update the website with news throughout the remainder of the early signing period.