football Edit

Auburn still No. 1 for No. 4 OLB

Valdosta (Ga.) linebacker Zakoby McClain averaged 9.5 tackles per game last season. (Chad Simmons)

Auburn continues to lead for Rivals100 linebacker Zacoby McClain.

The Tigers have been No. 1 on McClain's list since he visited in March, and remain No. 1 for McClain entering May.

“Nothing has changed,” McClain said. “Auburn is still on top."

McClain's reasons for the Tigers being on top also remain the same. The No. 4 outside linebacker likes Auburn’s campus. He likes the football facilities. Most important to him, McClain likes the coaches.

“I like everything at Auburn," McClain said. "Especially Coach T-Will."

McClain has developed a strong bond with "Coach T-Will," formally known as Travis Williams, Auburn's second-year linebackers coach.

The recruit and coach spent a lot of time together during McClain's visit to Auburn in March. McClain learned more about Williams the man, husband and father as he did about Williams the coach. The two have stayed in contact, most recently speaking on the phone.

Williams is scheduled to visit McClain later this week and watch practice.

“Me and Coach T-Will have gotten real close,” McClain said. “He’s real cool and keeps it real with me. He's like a father figure. I could see myself fitting in with him and the players at Auburn."

McClain plans to return to Auburn in the summer. He still hopes to make a commitment in late August or September, sometime shortly before the start of the season.

Although Auburn leads, McClain's recruitment is far from over. He also is considering LSU, South Carolina, Oregon, Alabama, Georgia and Florida State.

"I want to try and take some more visits like LSU," McClain said. "But Auburn still leads."

Last season as a junior, McClain finished with 123 tackles, including 88 solos, 20 tackles-for-loss and two sacks. He forced three fumbles and deflected two passes.

Rivals ranks McClain, who is 6-foot-1 and weighs 200 pounds, the No. 68 overall player in the class and the No. 9 player in Georgia.