Approximately 25 of Auburn's top targets in the 2012-14 recruiting class were on the Plains Saturday for Big Cat Weekend III. Here is what several of the prospects had to say about their experience at Auburn.
"It went great. It went really good. I got to talk to all of the coaches. I talked to Coach Trooper (Taylor), Coach (Gene) Chizik, Coach (Gus) Malzahn…all of them. I also hung out and talked to Zeke (Pike), but we talk a lot anyways, almost everyday. He calls and tells me that Auburn is a great place, stuff like that.
"I also hung out with Geno (Smith) and Josh (Holsey). We just hung around and played games. It was real fun. I won the watermelon-eating contest. I beat out Gabe Wright.
"The whole day was great. I love the coaches at Auburn. They don't seem too serious, but they are truthful. Some colleges tell you stuff you want to hear just to get you there, but I don't feel that way about Auburn's. I feel like Coach Trooper (Taylor) is a man of his word. He says the truth. He stands behind his word. Coach Gus (Malzahn), he has a great offense. Auburn is just a good place to be.
"I haven't made my decision, yet, but I have a top three. It's Auburn, Ohio State and LSU for me. I don't know when I will announce my decision. I am trying to set up a plan right now, but I don't know an exact date. I'm going to hold a press conference. I just don't know when, yet. All of the three schools are equal right now."
"I talked with Coach (Gene) Chizik and Coach (Tommy) Thigpen for a while on Saturday. It was good. We were just talking about defensive schemes, where they see me and all that. They see me as a middle linebacker, but that they could use me all over, at outside and at the defensive end.
"I hung out with Zeke Pike and Darrion Hutcherson all Friday and Saturday. I've known them from camps. I went against Hutcherson at the Rivals camp in Leeds, and Pike texted me a few weeks before he committed. I'm on board with them about getting the No. 1 class in the country.
"I participated in the contests on Saturday, then Zeke, Darrion and I went and ate for like two hours. It was a good day. The reason I came down was just to hang out and see all the other players. I can't get more solid to Auburn.
"The dance competition was crazy Saturday, that stood out. It was funny because all those football players being all big trying to dance, and coach Troop trying to dance was hilarious. He was trying to do the 'Dougie' or something, I don't know. Everybody was just laughing at everybody. I got in there, but the parents loved it.
"I think we will get a lot of commits because the people there with the kids loved it. A big part in recruiting comes with the parents and they loved it. I was telling some of those kids to go ahead and commit, because after a while it gets stressful.
"(Big Cat) went great. I liked it. I think a lot of players will commit off that visit. I'll be back in Auburn for a June camp, probably Zeke, and I think I heard Geno Smith talking and he said he was too."
"I got there around 11:15 and left around 4. It went good, I didn't do too much of the activities, just came to have a chat with Coach (Mike) Pelton and Coach 'Chiz'. I'm getting to know Coach Pelton a whole lot better now. I've talked to him quite a few times and I'm comfortable. I was close with Coach (Tracy) Rocker, an I feel like I'm getting there now with Coach Pelton.
"The talk with Coach Chizik went great. He just asked me how I felt about Auburn and where they stand. I feel great about Auburn. They do a great job of recruiting. It's kind of hard to get a player from Prattville because it's mostly an Alabama school, but they are doing a great job. Mostly at our school, we have Auburn fans, but the majority is Alabama fans, and recent players from here have gone to Alabama, but I don't feel pressure to continue that trend. I'm an Alabama fan, but I'm a fan of everybody's school. I just like to see a great game when I watch games.
"I saw Zeke Pike. We have talked on Facebook a lot. I talked to
Darrion Hutcherson. We've talked on Facebook, too. They showed me a lot of love. They were just being good friends, talking about why they made their decisions early, and to come here and be a part of the best class and pick up where Cam Newton left off.
"I'm still open, probably do a lot of traveling to colleges and camps, just checking out places. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will narrow it down to 10 or a top five. Some schools are really coming after me like the recent offers like USC, Clemson, Miami, LSU, most of those that are really trying to come hard, other than the two in-state schools. I probably could not name a top five right now.
"Basically the hardest thing is with me being an only child with just me and my mom, I don't want to be too far, 5-8 hours. The big thing that will help me out is getting my mom to visit these schools because she does not know too much about recruiting. She just wants me to graduate high school. It's just been me on my visits.
"I'm going to my first camp at LSU in June for a weekend. I'll be back in Auburn this summer, probably just come back to visit. My decision date depends on how things go. I'm thinking about making a decision at the Under Armour All-American game, or I might wait until signing day. I have not decided yet."
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