Impressive Alabama athlete Malcolm Askew has collected more than 50 scholarship offers during his football career at McAdory High School.
Following a lengthy evaluation of the recruiting scene that featured several campus visits, the 4-star prospect puts an in-state program atop his list of collegiate options. Askew unveiled a top-10 list Sunday afternoon with the Auburn Tigers sitting a stride ahead of other suitors:
Aside from naming Auburn his official leader, the 5'10 ½", 183-pound playmaker revealed another nine universities under consideration. This collection, listed in order of preference, includes Clemson, Ole Miss, TCU, Alabama, Florida, California, Oklahoma, Miami and Oregon.
Askew, who reports he holds 54 total offers, received his first from Georgia when he was a freshman. Now a rising senior, he's focused on finalizing plans well in advance of early enrollment at the university of his choice in January.
"I would like to make my decision real soon," Askew tweeted. "[These 10 schools] have recruited me and stayed in contact with me the most throughout this spring. These schools have shown the most love and I can see myself playing at each one of them. So, these 10 will be my focus moving forward."
Earlier this spring, he told B/R's Sanjay Kirpalani a decision could occur before his senior season.
"[I want to] decide between August and October,” Askew said in late March.
A two-way standout at McAdory, he's drawn interest as a receiver and defensive back.
Askew collected 85 tackles and six interceptions during the past two seasons, according to Tony Crumpton of TigerNet.com. He added 65 receptions, including 13 touchdown catches, during that span.
Ultimately, Askew's intentions are to line up on defense during the next phase of his playing career.
“I’m leaning more toward DB because of the longevity," he told Kirpalani. "Defensive players usually last longer playing the game in comparison to offensive players, and that’s why I’m leaning toward defense right now."
Auburn has long been entrenched as a top contender for his commitment. The Tigers coaching staff identified Askew as a premier in-state priority early and continues to sustain a strengthening relationship.
Top Auburn defensive assistants Kevin Steele and Wesley McGriff both attended his spring game earlier this month, according to Drew Champlin of AL.com.
"They stay in contact every day," Askew told Champlin. "Coach (Gus) Malzahn and I talk every other day and I can see myself there even if I wasn't playing football."
That's a strong statement for any athlete to make while assessing a possible collegiate landing spot. Like Auburn, Clemson has also been a mainstay in this recruitment.
He enjoyed a firsthand look at the team's ACC title run last fall when he traveled to campus for a pivotal game against Florida State.
"It was a big game for them and the atmosphere was great. Fans were loud the entire game and some of them actually knew who I was. My family and I really enjoyed the whole visit," Askew told B/R.
Again, rapport with the coaching staff is a key piece of this equation.
"They made it clear how much they want me to become a part of the program," he said. "Coach Dabo (Swinney) preaches about family there and every member of that staff is going to treat you like a son. Clemson has a great graduation rate and some of the best facilities in the country. There's a lot of good things going on there."
Ole Miss rounds out his top three, presenting another SEC opponent to overcome for another in-state suitor at Alabama. Crimson Tide coaches compared Askew to a current standout defensive back this spring.
"They say I remind them a lot of Eddie Jackson," he told Champlin. "They signed three corners [in 2016] so they aren't really looking to bring in corners. They say if I come there, they'd use me more as a safety."
Indications during his recruitment point toward a preference to play cornerback so this could be a sticking point that prevents Alabama from climbing much higher on Askew's list. However, Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was the first college coach to present Askew with an offer during his Georgia tenure and that carries clout.
TCU, one of the newest offers on his sheet, is a fast-rising contender worth monitoring moving forward.
"TCU is climbing up there now," he told Champlin, who also notes Askew may use an official visit with the Horned Frogs. "I've been talking to (secondary coach Paul Gonzales) a lot. He came to the (spring) game so that shows they have a lot of interest in me so I'm going to show a lot of interest in them."
With 10 teams still in the picture, expect upcoming visits to alter his outlook toward his variety of choices. Auburn remains the team to beat and, at this stage, it appears the Tigers could be quite difficult to catch.
Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.
Follow Tyler via Twitter @TDsTake.