LAGRANGE, Ga. — If you thought Auburn football’s 19 transfer portal pickups was enough for one offseason, think again.
Auburn coach Hugh Freeze confirmed Wednesday at an AMBUSH alumni event that the Tigers’ haul of portal prospects is nearing its end, but is still a handful of players from being over. In particular, Freeze said a transfer prospect was wrapping up a visit Wednesday and another was arriving Friday for a visit.
“I hope that’s about it,” Freeze said. “But I wouldn’t say that it is, because who knows? I guess, technically, the portal is closed down, unless it’s a grad transfer that decides to go in. But I think we’re close to being at the end.”
As for who those players could be, they likely fit the bill of a list Freeze gave at The PGA Champions Regions Tradition Pro-Am last week, when he listed wide receiver, defensive end, linebacker and defensive back as positions of need.
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Since then, Auburn has added linebacker Larry Nixon III and wide receiver Jyaire Shorter, both graduate transfers from North Texas. There’s still some names that qualify as far as what Freeze is looking for.
At the top of that list is former Jackson State receiver Shane Hooks, who multiple local outlets reported this week took a visit to Auburn. Hooks, who’s listed at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, transferred to Jackson State to play for Coach Prime after three seasons at Ohio. While with the Bobcats, he had 34 catches for 635 yards and six touchdowns.
The Orlando, Florida, native’s career totals were all comfortably bested in two seasons at Jackson State. In 19 games, he logged 82 catches for 974 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 11.9 yards per catch.
If Auburn were to bring in Hooks, or any other receiver, it would have gotten five pass-catchers from this offseason’s portal cycle, those other four being Shorter, Caleb Burton II, Nick Mardner and Rivaldo Fairweather.
As it stands, Auburn’s 19-player group of transfers ranks No. 2 nationally by 247Sports in team transfer class rankings, behind only Colorado and USC, respectively. While the Tigers have brought in nearly 20 players, several other programs have hit or crossed that threshold, including Ole Miss (20), Louisville (22) and Arizona State (29). Far and away the largest class of any this offseason belongs to the Buffaloes, who have hauled in 44 players with Deion Sanders moving from Jackson State to Colorado.