What Auburn football is getting in 4-star wide receiver Karmello English
It's been a long time since Auburn has had a chance to sign the top wideout in the state of Alabama, and a local area star could end the drought in a few months.
Pop quiz: When was the last time Auburn football signed the top-rated wide receiver in the state of Alabama?
Answer: It’s been a decade… at least.
According to 247Sports, which has composite recruiting rankings dating all the way back to 2000, here are the highest-rated wide receivers from the state of Alabama for each class this past decade and where they signed out of high school:
2022: Kobe Prentice (Alabama)
2021: Jordan Mosley (Northwestern)
2020: E.J. Williams (Clemson)
2019: George Pickens (Georgia)
2018: Justyn Ross (Clemson)
2017: Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)
2016: T.J. Simmons (Alabama)
2015: Justin Johnson (Mississippi State)
2014: Jalen Johnson (Georgia Tech)
2013: Jason Smith (Auburn)*
Heading into the 2023 class, it had been at least 10 years since Auburn signed the state’s top pass-catcher — and that might be debatable.
In the class of 2013, Jason Smith signed with Auburn to play wide receiver after his days as a standout quarterback at McGill-Toolen in Mobile. While he was the top-listed receiver in the composite, he was behind Alabama signee ArDarius Stewart, who was listed as an “athlete” by some services and a receiver on others. Stewart ultimately played wide receiver for the Crimson Tide for three seasons.
(Additionally, Smith didn’t qualify at Auburn right out of high school and had to go the JUCO route before making his way to the Plains for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons.)
If you consider Stewart the top Alabama receiver in the class of 2013, then you have to go back all the way to 2006 before you see the state’s best at the position pick Auburn. That was Tim Hawthorne, who dealt with several injuries during his time with the program.
Auburn has had some good in-state wide receiver talent since then, including the likes of Sammie Coates and Seth Williams. But it says a lot that the Tigers haven’t been able to land the top receiver in their home state since before Nick Saban arrived at Alabama.
That could change in a few months, though, thanks to a big recruiting win on the Fourth of July.
On Monday afternoon, 4-star wide receiver Karmello English announced his commitment to Auburn over the likes of Kentucky and Michigan — where he made official visits last month. Opinions on English are divided among the four major recruiting services, but he is a composite top-150 prospect nationally and a top-25 wide receiver.
And, in a 2023 class that is approaching historic levels for college talent, English is the No. 1 receiver in the state of Alabama.
English is listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds and hails from nearby Phenix City, where he is a star receiver for former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix and the Central Red Devils.
According to our friends at the Opelika-Auburn News, English had 42 receptions for 627 yards (14.93 yards per catch) and four touchdowns as a sophomore in 2020, when the Red Devils ran to the 7A state semifinals in Nix’s first season.
As a junior in 2021, English’s stock exploded, as he caught 70 passes for 1,059 yards (15.13 yards per catch) and 18 touchdowns. English also added two rushing touchdowns, a 61-yard punt return touchdown and an onside kick that he housed for six more points in Central’s run to the 7A state title game.
English set single-season records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns at Central as a sophomore. Here’s why that’s important: Central has been a factory for wide receiver talent in recent years, with former No. 1 in-state wideouts-turned-Clemson signees Justyn Ross and E.J. Williams headlining that crew.
Simply put, if you’ve had the most prolific season in Red Devils history at wide receiver, you’ve really done something impressive.
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