Young And Strong DL Talks Auburn Visit

Sophomore defensive tackle Rod Crayton talks about visiting Auburn.

Dadeville, Ala.--One of the strongest sophomores in the country took an unofficial visit to Auburn last week and said the Tigers are definitely a team he's interested in as he just begins to get into the recruiting game. Big 6-1, 285 defensive tackle Rod Crayton visited along with teammate Darrion Hutcherson and had a good time getting a taste of the campus and talking with the Auburn coaching staff.

"It was pretty good," Crayton said. "I didn't think I was going to meet coach (Gene) Chizik with me being just a sophomore, but it was a good opportunity for me to go down there and meet everybody.

"Coach Chizik told me it was good to meet the strongest sophomore in the whole country," he added. "That's what he told me."

And that just may be the case with Crayton. Currently working out with 395 pounds on the bench press and capable of leg pressing over 1,000 pounds, he said he wants to continue to improve those numbers as he prepares for his junior year.

"On the bench press I've been working out with 395," Crayton said. "I have doing two sets of five. I looked on the internet and it said if I do 395 five times my max would be around 460. I'm going to try it."

Rod Crayton

Not just a strongman, Crayton had a huge sophomore season for the Tigers as they pushed eventual state champion Thomasville to the limit in the Class 4A playoffs before falling on the road. Alongside fellow tackle Rashad Blackwell, Crayton had 126 tackles, 12 1/2 sacks, five fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles.

Getting a chance to visit Auburn and see what it takes to make it on the next level is something Crayton said is important to him this early in his career. The cousin of former Auburn standout Rodney Crayton, he said he's been familiar with Auburn but was glad to see things close up for himself.

"It's real big," Crayton said. "There haven't been too many young people from Dadeville going to big colleges. Coach (Matt) Harrison is helping us get used to the college environments and meeting coaches.

"It helps me strive to do better in school and do my work so I can get to the next level," Crayton added. "They told me academics were very important and you put that first and sports second."

With visits scheduled for Memphis, Ole Miss and possible a few more schools this spring and summer Crayton said he's anxious to see more schools but he definitely has a good feeling about Auburn.

"I think it's a good family environment," Crayton said. "You can tell they really care about their players down there."

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