Shanks Talks Auburn Visit, Mike Pelton

Four-star defensive tackle Justin Shanks talks about visiting Auburn and getting to know coach Mike Pelton.

Prattville, Ala.--Four-star defensive tackle Justin Shanks has had the Auburn Tigers high on his list since he first started being recruited, but when defensive line coach Tracy Rocker left in February he admitted the Tigers took a bit of a tumble for him. After visiting Auburn on Wednesday and watching coach Mike Pelton in action Shanks said he likes what he sees out of the first-year coach.

"It was great," Shanks said. "I finally got a chance to see them practice and how coach (Mike) Pelton handles the defensive line. I really loved it.

"He's high intensity," he added. "He gets after them. He has a lot of energy. That's what I like to see. Early in the morning they were sluggish, but he gets you up."

Getting a feel for Pelton both on and off the field, Shanks said Auburn has definitely moved back into a good position now that he's getting a better feel for the guy who would be his position coach.

"When Rock left it kind of hurt me," Shanks said. "We had something going on. I'm starting to get to know coach Pelton more and more. Hopefully I'll be back to get more information on him and see how he really is."

Justin Shanks

In addition to watching Pelton at work, Shanks also had the opportunity to see how the defensive line stacks up at Auburn this spring. With a pair of true sophomores the frontrunners at defensive tackle and still searching for depth behind them, Shanks said Auburn is definitely in need of guys at his position.

"Their inside guys, they've only got (Kenneth) Carter and (Jeff) Whitaker," Shanks said. "When they subbed for them they had to put a whole bunch of defensive ends in for their positions. They really need the help with inside guys.

"It helps a lot," he added of Auburn's chances. "Everybody needs a defensive tackle. You have to see who is coming in after this year. It's very important though."

Currently with 16 offers including Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, and others, Shanks said at the moment he doesn't have a list of favorites and hopes to have things narrowed down by the beginning of his senior season.

"I haven't been to all the places that have offered me so I'm trying to wait," Shanks said. "I should have it narrowed down to at least 10 and maybe five by the team the season starts."

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