Tigers putting together quality 2018, 19 classes
AUBURN | The transition from Brad Bohannon to Karl Nonemaker hasn’t slowed down Auburn’s recruiting one bit.
Most of the one dozen signees from the 2017 class are expected in school this summer or fall and the Tigers are just five months from signing another highly rated group of high school prospects.
A total of 10 players have verbally committed to the 2018 class. The building blocks for the 2019 class are already in place with commitments from three highly regarded prospects.
“They're smaller in numbers (than the 2017 class) but that's by design,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. “Our first class was huge and they just keep getting smaller and smaller but they become very high-level, quality players.
“We're headed to now where we want to develop this great high school group coming in and we want less and less transition. We want to add less pieces but very quality pieces. These classes are going to be special players.”
The 2018 commitments include left-handed pitcher Carson Skipper and infielder Ed Johnson from Hewitt-Trussville, ambidextrous pitcher and infielder Devin Warner and catcher Anthony Seigler from Cartersville, Ga., left-handed pitcher Garrett Wade from Hartselle, left-handed pitcher Brooks Fuller from Auburn, left-handed pitcher Dawson Sweatt from Landmark Christian in Fayetteville, Ga., infielder Jarret Eaton from St. Paul’s, right-handed pitcher Jordan Armstrong from McDonough, Ga., and infielder Ryan Bliss from Troup County, Ga.
The 2019 commits include shortstop Gunnar Henderson from Morgan Academy in Selma, Ala., infielder Mason Greer from Heritage in Colleyville, Texas and catcher Ryan Dyal from East Coweta, Ga.
Nonemaker has already logged a number of days on the road recruiting since his hire June 12.
“I want Karl in addition to going out and recruiting and finding us players, I'm excited about him going and seeing our 18 class play and connecting with them,” Thompson said. “That's a huge piece too. It's not just about finding the next guy, it's going and building his own relationship with this great 18 class.”
Thompson said Bohannon, who was hired as Alabama’s head coach, has been very helpful in the transition including spending extra time with Nonemaker to go over the 18 and 19 classes. Thompson expects Bohannon to steer clear of Auburn’s current commitments as he goes out recruiting for the Tide.
“Brad's done nothing but help with the transition,” Thompson said. “If I need him, I pick up the phone and call. If he needs me, he's going to get that advice of a head coach, but we’re going to try and blister each other when we play.
“I've got nothing but unbelievably great things to say about that and I don't think it's an issue. I think he'll go try to find his own boys.”
The early signing period for baseball is Nov. 8.