Auburn has secured a verbal commitment from defensive end Quentin Groves of Weston High in Greenville, Miss.
"I am going to Auburn," Groves said Sunday night. "It just came down to the fact that I felt close to their spiritual coordinator (Chette Williams). When I went on my Auburn visit, I saw that the players treated each other equally and they were one big, happy family.
"I just wanted to be part of a special team like Auburn."
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Groves chose Auburn over numerous offers including Georgia, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
"It was a real tough decision," he noted. "There was a lot of pressure to stay in-state and it was tough to turn down the SEC champs. The players and coaches at Auburn were talking about winning the National Championship and not just the SEC Championship - that is what impressed me about them."
Groves plans to sign with Auburn at his school on Wednesday afternoon.
"My whole family bought Auburn hats to wear to the press conference," he said. "It feels great. Like when you finally squat 700 pounds after trying for so long. I don't have to worry about the phone calls or people asking me where I am going all the time. It is like a huge weight has finally been lifted off of my shoulders."
Rated a four-star and the nation’s No. 12 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com, Groves finished his senior season with 101 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss and 22 sacks. He also caught three passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns as the tight end on offense.
A four-year starter, Groves had an excellent junior season finishing with 86 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, 15 sacks and seven fumble recoveries. He bench presses 285 pounds, squats 535 pounds, has a 36-inch vertical leap and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash.
“He’s very aggressive,” Greenville head coach Phil Short said. “He’s a player with his motor always running. He’s very physical and he enjoys the game. He has a burning desire to win and will be a blessing for whatever school he signs with.”
He also plays power forward on the basketball team, throws the discus and long jumps for the track team and competes in power lifting.
Groves is on track to qualify with a 2.3 GPA and a 17 on the ACT. He would like to major in computer science.