SAN ANTONIO — It was a nice little narrative for Aubrey Solomon. The nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle was going to take official visits to Auburn, Southern Cal and Florida. That would cover his January.
There wouldn’t be a need to worry about him making a decision on National Signing Day. He had a family issue. He was set to be an uncle and his sister’s delivery was due any day.
A series of unofficial visits would go to Georgia in February. Georgia would get his last visit. Another unofficial to Alabama might be in the works.
A safe projection would have been mid-to-late February. It was unique, but at least it was all sensible.
Poof. Boom. Blow all of that up. Here’s the new Intel on Aubrey Solomon:
- USC still gets its official visit on Jan. 12.
- Auburn will not get an official visit.
- Florida will not get an official visit.
- Georgia might get an official visit.
- The stuff keeps coming. He kept Alabama his leader, stated Michigan was his No. 2 school after that and Georgia would be next.
- Solomon also said he’d have his decision by the end of January.
He said a mouthful after the U.S. Army All-American Game on Saturday in San Antonio. That old scrapped plan only made sense if he planned to take all of his official visits.
“I am probably only to take one more official visit and then commit after that,” Solomon said. “That one will be USC and I might take an official visit to Georgia after that.”
Solomon said he changed his mind on Tuesday in San Antonio.
Did the Georgia commitments make a difference in his decision this week? Solomon said he was constantly hanging around the Bulldog commits in San Antonio.
“Jeremiah Holloman (a UGA early enrollee) was my roommate here this week,” Solomon said. “I wouldn’t say they worked hard on me this week. We just spent time together and had fun. When I got in the room with Holloman he was like ‘I’m not going to recruit you so that was how he pitched me. He said he wasn’t going to recruit me’ but then at the same time it just sort of happened. They weren’t recruiting me but they were recruiting me by not recruiting me. Having fun with the boys did a lot. These boys are like my brothers. I am not going to lie about it.”
Which commits does he consider to be his brothers?
“I’d say Holloman,” Solomon said. “Richie (LeCounte). Basically. But I would say it was more Netori (Johnson) than anybody.”
Johnson, the nation’s No. 5 guard, looked like he was showing him every day in practice how they could work together and make one another better.
The 4-star offensive guard certainly tried to check Solomon’s oil this week to see what he was made of. Johnson told me this week he felt Solomon more than lived up to his 5-star billing this week.
“You see this scratch right here?” Solomon said while pointing to his forehand. “Netori gave me that one here this week. It was pretty rough with us and it was in the trenches. It’s all good, though.”
I’m going to be a cynic here. This is a mystery recruitment. Solomon knows how to play the game.
So this is what I said to him. You can love all the guys and have fun with them, but then he still has to make the decision that’s best for his future. Those things do not always line up.
I asked him to tell me what that looks like for him now amid the filter of all the fun he had with the nine Georgia commitments in San Antonio.
“I am thinking less of the football aspect here with my decision,” Solomon said. “I can play football anywhere. I know I can go to a good program but overall I just want a good education. Really that’s what my focus has been.”
I asked him if he felt that place was with those “brothers” that he called the Georgia guys he stayed around this week in Texas.
He said that he would win a lot of games in college at Georgia and have a lot of fun playing with those guys.
“Yes, sir,” Solomon said. “I look at it like we would compete every day to make one another better but at the end of the day we would be close and we would still be a brotherhood. We could do some really good things there.”
Then he shared his current pecking order.
- Alabama (by a lot)
- Michigan (that education)
“That’s all I got for my decision after that,” Solomon said. “That’s going to be it.”
Why is he now taking an official to Georgia?
“That’s because of the relationships I have built upon this week and now the relationships that I have with that coaching staff at Georgia,” Solomon said.
He doesn’t know when he will take that official visit to UGA yet, though.
“Just hanging out with these guys this week to me showed me in its own way that I could really do this for a living with them,” Solomon said. “Just with them. Hang out with them. Play ball. Ball out. Hang out with them. Chill will them for 3-4 years. Those (Georgia commits) are real down-to-earth people.”
Does he feel that way about any other group of commitments that he might play with?
“Just Najee,” Solomon said. “(Alabama commit) Najee Harris. That’s my boy there.”
That’s a lot of information to process. What is the best advice he asked me to share with everyone following his decision?
“My decision is definitely coming at the end of January,” Solomon said. “For sure. Just a lot of thinking and a lot of praying and talking to my family. Just cutting down the list finally.”
Does he know his decision yet?
“I have got a good hint but I still have to take that one last visit because USC is really still high on my list and I really want to see what they have to offer.”