How’d AU commits look? (Week Zero)

August 29, 2018 By Cameron Caldwell

Auburn Football creative department / graphic by: @dillymaine

High school football in the south has begun and highly-talented players from all over the country have suited up for their respective hometowns to try and capture that elusive state title. With all of the buzz and talk about Auburn’s 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes, let’s take a look and see how a few of Auburn’s most coveted recruits performed in what is known as “Week 0” of the high school football season. Not all high schools have their stats and information easily accessible, but this is what we were able to obtain.

Before we highlight some of the performances by Auburn commitments, it’s worth pointing out that recent history was made concerning Auburn Football recruiting. Rivals recently updated their player rankings and in doing so, three of Auburn’s 2019 commitments were elevated up to the prestigious five-star ranking, so for the first time in the modern era of recruiting rankings, the Tigers have three five-star commitments in a single class from high school seniors — quarterback Bo Nix, linebacker Owen Pappoe, and wide receiver George Pickens.

On top of that excellent news, Auburn received even more good news on the trail when a pair of four-star defensive backs pledged their commitment to the Tigers last week in Zion Puckett out of Griffin, Georgia and Chesapeake, Virginia native Cam’Ron Kelly. The duo are considered two of the best athletes in the country and big recruiting wins for the Tigers. Puckett had offers from both Alabama and Georgia, while Kelly picked Auburn over Oklahoma and Penn State.

The aforementioned Nix took center stage as he and his father, former Auburn quarterback and current high school football coach Patrick Nix, led the Pinson Valley Indians, 2017’s class 6A champs versus the state’s most dominant force in high school, the reigning class 7A champs Hoover Buccaneers.

The game was apart of an ESPN special feature double-header which highlighted high school football in the area with Pinson Valley and Hoover squaring off first followed up by Hewitt-Trussville taking on Cedar Grove (GA), who features top Auburn wide receiver target five-star Jadon Haselwood. The double-header was held at the Hoover-Met and both games were broadcast live by ESPN.

Nix started out very shaky with some interesting play-calling after several deep throws in a row that would’ve made Gus Malzahn’s 2017 2nd half LSU game plan proud. Despite his team being overly outmatched, Nix later caught a little fire and finished 20-41 (49%) for 210 yards and a touchdown. Throughout the game, Nix faced a Hoover defensive line that applied constant pressure against an inexperienced offensive line of the Indians, but it actually allowed him to showcase his ability to extend plays and make throws on the run. Hoover is by far the toughest team on Pinson’s schedule so look for Nix’s numbers to improve when the Indians matchup against a school similar in size.

Wide receiver George Pickens showed-out on national television and gave the country a little taste of what Auburn is getting — an absolute freak of nature who seems to literally dominate defenders anytime the ball is thrown his way.

Hoover ran the ball a good bit and took starters out early, but Pickens still managed to tally 7 catches for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. You could argue that in the modern era of recruiting rankings, Pickens may very well end up being one of the best receivers Auburn has ever signed.

Rivals national recruiting director Mike Ferrell recently indicated that Pickens could very well end up competing for the distinction as the No. 1 ranked wide receiver in the country.

As we previously mentioned, one of the newest Tiger commitments is four-star defensive back  Zion Puckett, who was in action Friday night as his Spalding High School defeated Carver in a thriller, 36-33. Puckett tallied 6 tackles and broke up a number of passes.

Damarjhe Lewis, a 2020 commit, finished up with 5 tackles, including 3 for loss in Griffin’s (GA) loss to Alabama power Clay-Chalkville, 35-20.

4-star defensive end Jaren Handy did his part in a win for Hattiesburg High School, as he was all over the field making tackles, as well as a tackle for loss and a rushing touchdown.

Jashawn Sheffield, out of Frederica Academy (SC), was all over the field in a loss to Valwood. His stats weren’t completely revealed, but at the least, he caught 5 passes for almost 75 yards, carried the ball 4 times for 42 yards, and returned a punt for almost 40 yards. His teammate and fellow Auburn commit Jaylin Simpson was also in action, as he caught in interception and also forced a turnover.

Ja’Varrius Johnson, a 3-star recruit who also played on ESPN against Cedar Grove (GA), absolutely went off. He caught 11 balls for 143 yards, averaging 13 yards per catch with a long of 59. He really showed a burst of speed in the open field and could end up being a big sleeper among the wide receivers of this class.

2019 Auburn defensive back commit Cam’Ron Kelly finished 5 of 9 for 146 yards and a touchdown, while also playing shutdown corner for Oscar Smith – the opposing team didn’t throw his way one single time the entire game.

Cam’Ron Kelly/ Oscar Smith Football

Offensive lineman Kiondre Jones helped pave the way for Callaway to rush for over 200 yards against Opelika in a 35-21 win.

Justin Osbourne helped IMG Academy beat the breaks off Pine Richard 42-0, as the mercy rule had to be forced upon in just the 3rd quarter.

Defensive end Jamond Gordon contributed in an effort that saw Davidson barely manage 100 yards of offense.

2020 wide receiver recruit and Troup County quarterback Kobe Hudson had almost 250 yards of total offense and scored 3 touchdowns in a 32-0 win over Ridgeland.

2020 commit Kobe Hudson

2020 linebacker commit Quandarrius Robinson recovered a fumble and also added a tackle for loss in Birmingham’s Jackson Olin High School’s win over Fairfield 24-14.

No stats were available for Grayson High School as Owen Pappoe and Jakai Clark helped their loaded squad defeat Tucker 48-7. Colby Wooden’s Archer squad had the week off. Make sure to come back for weekly updates on how our future Tigers performed and showed out. War Eagle!

-Skye Underwood contributed to this article