Physical DB Likes Visit to Auburn

Cairo High standout T.J. Gurley discusses his visit to check out the defending national champion Auburn Tigers. The report includes video of the hard-hitting prospect.

Cairo, Ga.--T.J. Gurley, who performed well earlier this year at the Chad Simmons Showcase Combine in Suwanee, Ga., as well as the Orlando MVP Camp, took a road trip to Auburn on Saturday to check out Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers and he says he really liked what he saw.

Since he participated in those showcases events the defensive back from Cairo High has seen his recruiting really take off. "I think those are one of the reasons recruiting has really picked up," says Gurley, who made 70 tackles as a junior.

He ran impressive 4.17 NFL short shuttle at the Simmons Showcase. "I also ran like a 6.8 in the three-cone shuttle," Gurley points out. "I ran like a 4.5 in the 40 at the event."

At 5-10, 179 pounds with an on the field record of being a big hitter, Gurley is being recruited by colleges as both a cornerback and safety. He played cornerback as a sophomore and moved to safety as a junior, the position he is expected to play this fall.

What position is Auburn recruiting him to play? "They really like me at both," says Gurley, who spent time with Auburn safeties coach Tommy Thigpen and running backs coach Curtis Luper on Saturday. "They think I can be an NFL player and things like that," Gurley says. "They said they think I am smart and know the game."

The prospect is also smart in the classroom. "I am an honor student," he says, noting that he wants to major in pharmacy in college.

Gurley says that he thinks Auburn is getting close to offering him a scholarship. He notes that his fifth and latest offer came from Georgia Tech on Friday night to go with offers from Mississippi State, Tennessee and Arkansas. He notes that Clemson, Florida and Georgia are also spending time recruiting him.

"Everybody is about the same," Gurley says, who notes that Mississippi State is high on his list because that was the first college to offer a scholarship and because he likes the family atmosphere he saw on his visit to Starkville.

The defensive back plans to visit Florida and Florida State next week and will hit the football camp circuit this summer. He says one of his stops will be Auburn and he plans to return in the fall to check out one or more Auburn games.

On Saturday he toured the Auburn campus and notes he really likes the facilities and the people he met.

Gurley previously played basketball, but as a junior he decided to concentrate on football. Asked what will be the most important factor for him in choosing a college, he says, "The education and the atmosphere are important," he says. "I am looking for a place where I feel at home."

He says Auburn might be the kind of place he would enjoy spending his college years. "It is a small town like my town," he says. "I just love it." He adds that the chance to play for the 2010 national champions is appealing as is the fact that Auburn is not very far from his home in Cairo.

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