According to Rivals.com's 2018 Team Recruiting Rankings, Auburn now has the No. 9 class in the country, which is No. 2 in the SEC behind only Georgia who sits at No. 3.
With only two months until National Signing Day in February, Auburn has a total of 18 commitments, and of those, 13 are four-star prospects. The Tigers recruiting class is seven spots higher than Alabama's 2018 class, which is currently ranked No. 16.
Auburn gained four verbal commitments in the month of November, two of which came on the same day. The Tigers and head coach Gus Malzahn, who was recently granted a seven-year extension, hope to continue their rise up the rankings with a strong December.
Let’s take a look at the new additions to Auburn’s 2018 commitment list:
Christian Tutt committed to Auburn just days after watching the Tigers defeat his home-state school, Georgia, 40-17 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"It's about what school fits me," Tutt told SEC Country. "The situation they're in right now with guys trying to go to the league with some guys that don't fully play corner and can fit in at safety, it's a need right now. Without any corners in this class right now, they need me to come in as a mid-year and get into the system, get in the weight room, get bigger."
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Tutt is the first cornerback of the class, picking Auburn over Ohio State ahead of his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey presentation. The Thomson, Georgia native is the No. 33 cornerback in the country and the No. 40 prospect in the state according to Rivals.com. Tutt is a four-star defensive back that was recruited heavily due in large part to his versatility and natural athleticism. He also has experience on the offensive side of the ball, returning kicks for special teams in high school, but his future on The Plains will be as a defensive back. Standing at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, Tutt will likely play the nickel position, but could also play cornerback or free safety if needed. He is a strong, physical boundary corner, with an ideal frame, that has an aggressive style when covering receivers man-to-man.
Richard Jibunor was the first of two Thanksgiving Day commitments for the Tigers. Jibunor is a huge addition to the 2018 class, choosing Auburn over Florida and Tennessee.
“The coaching staff has been really amazing and the program is moving forward in a very positive way,” Jibunor told AuburnUndercover.com. “And it’s a place that I feel like is the best place. Each time I visit the school I just feel at home. I enjoy it a lot. The atmosphere is good and the environment is awesome.”
The four-star out of Athens Christian School in Georgia is the No. 10 athlete in the country and the No. 28 prospect in the state according to Rivals.com. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Nigerian is new to the game but is full of untapped potential, having only played football since his sophomore year of high school. Jibunor moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2014 as a foreign exchange student.
The highly touted athlete can play numerous positions and has been recruited as a tight-end, defensive end, and a linebacker, but will likely be a linebacker in the future for the Tigers. Jibunor possesses great quickness and speed, and can get after the quarterback, much like Jeff Holland. He still needs to refine his game, put on weight, and get stronger, but coaches love him because of his great work ethic and hustle. Jibunor is, above all, coachable and always eager to learn.
Seth Williams was Auburn’s second Thanksgiving Day surprise. Williams committed the same day as previously mentioned Richard Jibunor, and chose the Tigers over Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
“The coaches, they’re real and they’re not going to hide anything from you,” Williams told scout.com. “Every time I go down there it feels like family. I just can’t get past that."
Williams is a physical wide receiver with solid acceleration out of Paul Bryant high school in Tuscaloosa. He is the No. 38 wide-out in the country and the No. 6 prospect in the state of Alabama according to Rivals.com. Standing at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, Williams has the ability to go up and win 50-50 balls in the air. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama native needs to improve his route-running, but corners still struggle to tackle him in one-on-one situations. Williams has the ability to get yards after the catch, even on ordinary routes, and take it to the end-zone on any given play.
Zakoby McClain was Auburn’s last commitment of November, and is the Tigers' third linebacker in the 2018 class. McClain chose Auburn over LSU and West Virginia.
“It just comes down to mine and coach T-Will’s relationship. He’s like a father figure to me. We already know each other and all that stuff,” McClain told SEC Country earlier this year. “His message is always just to work hard in everything you do and be a leader on the team.”
The Valdosta, Georgia native is the No. 15 linebacker in the country and the No. 26 prospect in the state. McClain is categorized as a “tweener” because of his frame and build as an athletic linebacker. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect stands out because his quickness and his versatility on defense when playing against the spread offense. The four-star prospect still needs to get stronger, gain weight, and improve his defense when it comes to the run game and getting off blocks, but he has great closing speed and is very effective off the edge in blitz packages. Overall, McClain has good instincts and plays with a lot of energy at one of the most important positions on the defensive side of the ball.
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