NCF On The Trail: Auburn recruits react

ESPN 300 TB Wilkins has new interest 

November, 29, 2012
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Coaching changes can be handled very differently.

Take for instance Gene Chizik's firing at Auburn. There doesn't seem to be much recruiting happening from The Plains. Just ask one of the Tigers' higher-rated commitments, Jordan Wilkins, the four-star tailback from Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict. Has he heard from the school he committed to since Chizik was let go on Sunday?

"No," Wilkins stated via text message on Thursday, "I haven't talked to anyone."

LB Trey Johnson decommits from Auburn 

November, 27, 2012
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Two days after the announcement that Auburn had fired head coach Gene Chizik, the Tigers have lost their second commitment in the 2013 class. According to Central Gwinnett head coach Todd Wofford, ESPN 150 linebacker Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) is reopening his recruitment.

"Trey is going to decommit from Auburn today," Wofford said. "Trey wants to be fair to himself and to the teams that he has interest in. He isn't going to address Auburn until they name a coach."

Johnson took his first official visit over the weekend to Ohio State. Upon his return, he did not want to discussion the situation at Auburn.

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Lemond Johnson on hold with Auburn 

November, 26, 2012
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Three-star athlete Lemond Johnson (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City) had nothing but good things to say about his encounters with Gene Chizik.

The 6-foot, 190-pound senior expressed disappointment after hearing Auburn dismissed Chizik on Sunday just two years after winning a national championship.

“He was always a real nice guy and very positive,” Johnson said. “I had a good feeling about him when I committed. I thought he would be a good coach to play for.

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AU QB commit Johnson looks for answers 

November, 26, 2012
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When ESPN 300 quarterback and Auburn commitment Jeremy Johnson (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) found out that AU head coach Gene Chizik had been fired, he immediately called his friend and teammate, 2014 Watch List linebacker Shaun Hamilton.

“He called me as soon as it happened,” Hamilton said. “He was like, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘I need to be asking you that. I’ve got one more year to think about it.’ We’re going to see what we’re going to do.”

Hamilton said Johnson has already been looking at LSU and Ole Miss and that he will probably visit both schools in the near future, once their seasons wrap up.

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ESPN 150 DL Liner remains with Auburn 

November, 25, 2012
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When news broke that Auburn had fired head coach Gene Chizik on Sunday, the focus turned to the Tigers’ 2013 recruiting class, ranked No. 7 overall by ESPN. Could they keep the current commitments, in particular ESPN 150 defensive lineman Dee Liner (Muscle Shoals, Ala./Muscle Shoals), AU’s top recruit?

For now, Liner remains committed to Auburn. He is going to wait until after his senior season is over before addressing his situation.

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5-star Lawson shocked by Auburn firing 

November, 25, 2012
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Five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Marietta, Ga./Milton) was not prepared to discuss the news Sunday that Auburn had fired head coach Gene Chizik.

“No comment on Auburn right now," Lawson said. "The news shocked me.”

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Ja'Quay Williams decommits from Auburn 

November, 25, 2012
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The writing was on the wall a couple weeks ago for senior wide receiver Ja'Quay Williams (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek). But after the news that Auburn coach Gene Chizik had been fired, the four-star prospect made it official.

"Jaquay Williams is decommitting, officially," said his legal guardian, who also said he wished to remain anonymous. "Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma State are on the current list. And Auburn is still in the mix."

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Trey Johnson mum on future at Auburn 

November, 25, 2012
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ESPN 150 linebacker Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett), who was at the airport Sunday following an official visit to Ohio State, did not want to discuss the dismissal of Auburn head coach Gene Chizik.

"I do not want to talk about anything specific yet," Johnson said. "I want to wait and see who they bring in and continue to take my visits."

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Melton wants to keep AU class intact 

November, 25, 2012
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Auburn head coach Gene Chizik was fired on Sunday just two years removed from a national championship. Count AU cornerback commitment Kamryn Melton (Dothan, Ala./Dothan) among those surprised to hear the news.

“I was a little surprised,” he said. “I really thought they were going to give him another chance because of the recruiting class that we’ve got this year coming in. We were going to be able to change everything around. It was really just a business decision, and they had to do what they had to do.”

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Will Arshad Jackson flip from AU to FSU? 

November, 25, 2012
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Tight end Arshad Jackson (Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy) was prepared for Sunday’s news that Auburn head coach Gene Chizik would not be retained following a disappointing 3-9 season.

“I heard the news and I was kind of sad that Gene Chizik got fired, but I kind of knew it would happen,” Jackson said. “Seeing how bad they were losing and then with violations, I saw it coming.”

Last week, Jackson hinted that a change might occur if Chizik is let go, and he did not deny that might still be the case. But for right now, Jackson wants to discuss things some more with the people around him.

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Tiger pledge Jordan Wilkins adjusts plan 

November, 25, 2012
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Jordan Wilkins will consider other options in light of Auburn's coaching change this weekend.

One of the Tigers' highest-rated commitments, the ESPN 300 running back from Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict said that he will look at other colleges following head coach Gene Chizik's firing.

"I have some thinking to do," the four-star tailback said.

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ATH Smith watching Auburn's next move 

November, 25, 2012
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Four-star athlete Jason Smith (Mobile, Ala./McGill-Toolen) committed to Auburn in July, but had been preparing for the worst as rumors became reality Sunday with the firing of Tigers head coach Gene Chizik.

“I liked the coaches and everything, and I’m always going to love Auburn. I’m looking forward to see who’s going to be the new head coach. I just want to see who the next coach is and if he’s going to run a similar offense. If it’s anything that fits around me, I’m going to stick with it.”

In the meantime, Smith says he’s still hearing from Alabama, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Houston, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Over the weekend, he took an unofficial visit to Alabama as the Crimson Tide took on Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

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Reuben Foster hit hard with Chizik firing 

November, 25, 2012
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On Saturday, ESPN 150 linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) was still hopeful that the Auburn coaching staff would be retained. Then less than 24 hours later, he got word that Gene Chizik had been fired.

“The news is hitting me hard,” Foster said. “I am really stressing right now. I am going down there now to check out what is going on and try to talk to the coaches.”

Following an unofficial visit to Georgia on Saturday, Foster told ESPN.com that he was monitoring the situation with the Auburn staff, and that he was trying to avoid any rash decisions. But he did hint that his recruitment would be heavily affected by them being fired.

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