5-Star QB Recruiting Future Teammates

Zeke Pike liked Big Cat Weekend and he chance to help line up future teammates he will play with as a college quarterback at Auburn.

Fort Mitchell, Ky.--Zeke Pike's goal during Big Cat Weekend was to help recruit future teammates and the five-star quarterback said that he came away from the event feeling good about the progress the Tigers made.

"It was a lot of fun meeting guys you talked to, but you have never really seen before but have heard about," Pike said. "Coaches are saying we have got to get this guy and this guy. It was great. I think we have a pretty good handle on the recruiting thing and it is going to start rolling."

Pike and his father Mark, a former college and pro football star, arrived on the Auburn campus on Friday and stayed until Sunday. Both said they enjoyed the experience getting to know the Auburn coaches better while interacting with other recruits and their families.

"I have never really been to something where the experience wasn't so much about football," the quarterback said. "It was more about fellowship and trying to build relationships with guys you want to play on your team.

"Coming down to Auburn and knowing that I am kind one of the ringleaders is kind cool," he said. "You feel almost like you are on the same level as the coaches in trying to get these guys recruited. I got to sit down in the meeting room with all of the guys they are really trying to get and I got to bring in the crystal ball (BCS Championship Trophy) and say, ‘Hey guys, this is what we are trying to get back to.'"

Pike, who has scholarship offers from colleges around the country, is ranked as the nation's No. 3 quarterback prospect by Scout.com. On April 20th at Dixie Heights High in Fort Mitchell, Ky., he announced that he would sign with the defending national champions.

The six-foot-six quarterback had been a prime target for the Tigers since visiting last summer for a football camp and putting on an impressive performance.

Auburn was just one of many colleges that Pike visited before making his choice. "I have been all over the country checking out college programs and there is no place like Auburn," he said.

He added that is the message he tried to get across to other recruits at Big Cat Weekend. "It is just a special place," Pike said. "I just try to get them to understand that. A lot of coaches will tell you family this or family that or this and that, but Auburn is true to it...I?think a lot of recruits have the same feeling I do."

Pike noted that he was excited when four-star offensive tackle Shane Callahan, a visitor he talked with at Big Cat Weekend, told him that he was committing to the Tigers.

The big quarterback said he spent time with recruits like offensive lineman Patrick Miller, running back T.J. Yeldon, wide receivers Jaquay Williams and Ricardo Louis and tight end Ricky Parks and noted that his take is that those and other visitors to the Big Cat event are seriously considering joining him at Auburn.

Zeke Pike is shown in game action.

Although his left (non-throwing) arm was in a sling during Big Cat Weekend that prevented him from participating in the games and contests that are part of the event, he said watching the competition and how much fun everybody was having was his favorite part of the weekend. "It is a different deal just being able to watch the pie-eating contest, the watermelon eating contest and just the little fun games and stuff...the dance competition and stuff. It was a lot of fun.

"I did a little bit one-handed, but I mostly had to sit back and chill and be easy on the shoulder," Pike added.

Pike suffered an injury in football season as a junior, but played with the problem all the way through the basketball season. He recently had the problem worked on by the team surgeon for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.

"He cleaned it up for me," said Pike, who noted that he had a separated shoulder. "They had to tie my clavicle back to my shoulder so it would grow back right. They also took some bone chips out. It was kind of an easy procedure, but something that needed to be done for me to be healthy in the future."

The quarterback will begin heavy rehab in about two weeks and hopes to be ready to participate in some seven-on-seven competitions this summer as well as the Elite 11 quarterback camp scheduled for late July in California.

"After going from college to college for camps and visits last year, I am going to relax some and enjoy the summer," he said.


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