AUBURN OFFERS BIG LINEMAN: John Atkins has seen his recruitment take off in recent months with his latest offer coming from Auburn. The lineman from Thomson (Ga.) High also has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Massachusetts. Atkins, 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, could play defensive tackle or offensive tackle in college.
“I plan on deciding before my senior year," Atkins told 247Sports. “I would like for the school I go to to have good academics as well as athletics. It feels very good that these schools want me to be a part of their program.”
ROUGH DAY FOR PIKE: Auburn quarterback commitment Zeke Pike had a subpar performance at the Elite 11 Friday at Ohio State. Pike was at the regional competition along with fellow 5-star quarterbacks Gunner Kiel and Jameis Winston.
“There’s really no way around the fact that Pike did not have one of his better days throwing the football. He was erratic and struggled delivering the ball with consistent spin,” 247Sports national recruiting analyst Barton Simmons said.
“The tools that earned Pike his five-star status were still there. He has a great quarterback frame as a big strong kid who moves remarkably well despite that size. Pike has a nice high release that allows a good launch point even for a 6-5 kid. He has a personality that conveys a real love for the game and a love for competing.”
NKEMDICHE PICKS THE REBELS: Defensive back Denzel Nkemdiche committed to Ole Miss following an official visit there last weekend and plans to report on June 1 for the start of school. Georgia had also invited Nkemdiche to visit this upcoming weekend but he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that visit is unlikely. He is the older brother of Robert Nkemdiche, who projects as a 5-star defensive lineman and one of the nation’s top overall prospects for 2013.
“(Robert) is really liking them a lot because he knows I wasn’t too sure about them before my official visit and then I absolutely loved it there,” Denzel told the AJC. “He wants to see what they are all about. He’s excited about coming to my games and everything.”
CLOSE TO TRIMMING LIST: 4-star cornerback Deon Bush from Columbus in Miami, Fla., is close to trimming an impressive list of offers that includes Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Notre Dame and West Virginia.
“I’ve been contact with a lot of schools in the spring, but now I’m in the process of narrowing it down before the summer,” Bush told 247Sports. “I’m not sure yet, but my dad and I are going to talk about it.”
THIS AND THAT: Auburn has made the cut for 4-star safety Travis Blanks from North Florida Christian in Tallahassee, Fla., along with Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Ohio State and TCU ..... Auburn didn’t make the cut for defensive lineman Jordan Watkins from Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Ga., who trimmed a long list of offers to 15 schools. Watkins is looking for a school with a strong journalism program ..... 4-star defensive lineman Sheldon Day plans to visit Tennessee, Auburn, and possibly North Carolina and Florida in June ..... 2103 offensive lineman D.J. Park from Dillon (S.C.) High, who already has seven offers, plans to visit Auburn, Alabama and LSU this summer ..... Linebacker/defensive end Jamal Marcus from Hillside and Durham, N.C., was named defensive line MVP at the Duke NIKE camp Saturday.