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April 20, 2011Dixie Heights quarterback Zeke Pike ended the suspense and verbally committed to the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday in front of a large crowd inside the school's auditorium.
Pike, who is the most highly recruited player to come out of Northern Kentucky since Shaun Alexander, is considered as one of the nation's top quarterbacks and overall prospects by Rivals.com and held over 30 offers.
The 6-foot-5, 220 pound signal caller chose Auburn over the likes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, LSU, UCLA, USC, and West Virginia.
"I have to go somewhere where I love being in order for me to work hard and that's the thing about Auburn is that I love being there."
Kentucky, Louisville, and Cincinnati were also on the list, but staying home wasn't an option for Pike.
"I just wanted to get away and I wanted to meet new people and just to get an opportunity to make an impact on people's lives in a different part of the country."
Pike spent his spring break last week visiting Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee. He also made trips to Arkansas, Michigan, Purdue, LSU, North Carolina and Virginia.
In his first year as a starter Pike completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,218 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,072 yards and 17 additional scores. He has already been selected to play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
There was some speculation that Pike would play at position other than quarterback at the next level, but that is not the plan for now.
"That is something I hope doesn't happen down the line," Pike claimed. "I have had zero people offer me anything else aside from quarterback."
Pike possesses great athleticism for his size and has blown scouts away at various combines over the past two years.
"A lot of people just love my skill set as a quarterback," he suggested. "I have got a real strong arm. I think they (college coaches) see I am kid that is kind of raw, but can be very developed."
With the Cam Newton shadow lurking over the program Pike expressed no concern of potential violations in the future at Auburn, but did address it with the team's coaching staff during his recruitment.
"Let the people say what they are going to say," Pike added. "That is a Mississippi State problem not an Auburn problem."
After attending the Tigers' spring practice at the end of his most recent trip, Pike had little doubts of where he wanted to play.
"I had kind of lost interest in Auburn just a little a bit," he said. "It was just the feeling I got there I felt like God was touching my heart and God wanted me to be there."
--Interview: Zeke Pike
--Interview: Head Coach Tom Spritzky
--Press Conference (Part I)
--Press Conference (Part 2)