Why 4-star RB Jeremiah Cobb remained committed to Hugh Freeze and Auburn football
In the end, there was never much reason for Auburn football fans to worry.
Montgomery Catholic running back Jeremiah Cobb, a 4-star recruit ranked the No. 9 running back in the country in the class of 2023, had been committed to the Tigers since July 1. However, that commitment came under Bryan Harsin, who was fired on Oct. 31. Around that time, Cobb received an offer from Georgia, which made a late push for his services.
But new coach Hugh Freeze and his assistants heavily prioritized the 5-foot-11, 186-pound speedster. Auburn's entire staff came to Montgomery in December to visit Cobb, with Freeze sharing a vision for the program that Cobb's high school coach, Kirk Johnson, called "perfect."
Cobb finally made things official Wednesday, signing with Auburn and becoming the 33rd player to join the Tigers this offseason. It had to wait longer than fans might have hoped, as Catholic doesn't allow students to graduate early and Cobb wanted to share the moment with his teammates, five of whom also signed to play college football in a ceremony at the school. But he was never going anywhere but the Plains.
"I just can't wait to get down there with all the guys," Cobb said.
Auburn wasn't always Cobb's dream school. He grew up rooting for Alabama and didn't stop doing so until fairly recently. After a 2,063-yard, 30-touchdown junior season, Cobb attended the Iron Bowl and watched the Tigers, as three-touchdown underdogs, take the Crimson Tide to four overtimes before losing 24-22. The Jordan-Hare Stadium atmosphere stuck with him. Two months later, he received an offer from the Tigers.
While Cobb won't play for the head coach that recruited him, he's built strong relationships with running backs coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, secondary coach Zac Etheridge and player relations coordinator Trovon Reed, all of whom were on Harsin's staff and retained under Freeze. Cobb said he talks to Williams "all the time," and Williams' stint as interim coach in November helped sell him even more.
"It really opened my eyes and let me know that I’m gonna be with a great coach," Cobb said. "Someone I can really train my whole game around and just be a better athlete."
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Williams, a former star running back at Auburn himself, will now lead an intriguing running back room consisting of Cobb, Jarquez Hunter, who averaged 6.4 yards per carry last season, former four-star recruit Damari Alston and transfer Brian Battie, a 1,176-yard rusher at South Florida in 2022.
Just a few months ago, Auburn's class of 2023 ranked in the 60s nationally. Under Freeze, the Tigers' class has risen to No. 17 per the 247Sports Composite, and No. 8 in the SEC. There's a different feel to the program due to Freeze's energy, Cobb said.
"I definitely think we’re gonna turn the whole program around," Cobb said.
Jacob Shames can be reached by email at email@example.com, by phone at 334-201-9117 and on Twitter @Jacob_Shames.
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Why Jeremiah Cobb remained committed to Auburn football