Four-Star RB T.J. Yeldon Chooses Tigers

A report is featured on one of the top running back prospects in the country who has chosen the Tigers. Video game highlights are included in this report.

Daphne, Ala.--Auburn picked up a commitment at a position of need for the 2012 signee class as the state's top running back prospect, T.J. Yeldon of Daphne High, ended his recruitment on Tuesday by choosing Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers.

On Tuesday afternoon the talented running back let Inside the Auburn Tigers know he is done with recruiting and will sign with the defending national champions as he was playing in a basketball event with the Daphne High hoops team.

His father, Tim Yeldon, said that T.J. and the whole family are happy to get recruiting finished and they like the running back's choice.

"T.J. is excited and I am excited," Mr. Yeldon said. "He has known for a long time that is where he is going. He just decided to put the final stamp on it today.

"I am a proud papa today," he said. "I am also glad that recruiting is over with and I know T.J. is, too. This will take a lot of pressure off of him and I can see already that is the case.

"We all believe Auburn is a great choice," Mr. Yeldon noted. "He likes the coaches and the school itself. It seems like family."

Mr. Yeldon pointed out that Auburn's early interest was also something the running back appreciated. "Auburn was always there for him," Yeldon said. "I told him it was his decision, 100 percent, but I believe he made the right choice picking Auburn over Alabama and the other schools."

Yeldon rushed for 1,112 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior and caught 34 passes for 504 yards and five touchdowns for an unbeaten Daphne High team that finished its 2010 season at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium with a victory over Hoover in the 6A state championship game.

As a sophomore he ran the football 84 times for 609 yards at 7.3 yards per carry. He finished with 15 rushing touchdowns and added two more on pass receptions as he caught 20 for 280 yards.

He returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown as a freshman and started two games that season for the Trojans.

Yeldon runs the football in the 2010 state title game.

The running back says he picked Auburn over Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, LSU, Florida and around two dozen others. He is ranked as the No. 16 running back prospect and a four star recruit by

Yeldon said he likes Auburn's coaches, players and the Tigers' offense plus he notes that he likes the "family feeling" around the AU program.

Originally he planned to announce his college choice at the U.S. Army All-American Game in January at San Antonio, but later decided to get it out of the way prior to the start of his senior season. After visiting Auburn over the weekend, he decided to chose the Tigers on Tuesday so he can concentrate on his final year of high school football.

"My goal is to get to 2,000 yards rushing and have 25 rushing touchdowns as a senior," said Yeldon, who noted that he currently has grade point average at Daphne High in the 3.1 to 3.2 range.

Yeldon, who also plays basketball for the Trojans, says he is currently 6-1 1/2, 210 pounds and he is looking to get into the 215 range this fall. He notes that he is working out 10 times a week this summer with a personal trainer to improve his strength and speed.

T.J. Yeldon

The running back's speed is one thing that makes him one of the top high school running back prospects in the country this year. He has been clocked at 4.43 in the 40.

Glenn Vickery, Daphne's head coach, said, "What helps T.J. most is his size and strength. As a receiver his biggest asset is his route running, plus he can really catch the ball with excellent hands. At running back, he sees the field well, runs strong and hard. T.J.'s just a good player who competes with great desire."

Yeldon has made several visits to Auburn in recent months and notes that he spent time with running backs coach Curtis Luper and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. "I saw how I would be able to fit in with the offense," he said, noting that the coaches gave him a four-year plan for football and academics. "They explained to me how I will fit in their offense," he added.

After scoring his team's only touchdown in the 7-6 state championship victory over Hoover, Yeldon said he enjoyed the opportunity to play in Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium. "It felt great because they have been recruiting me real hard," Yeldon said. "I have been liking them a lot. It was amazing to play there.

"We run the same exact offense they do," Yeldon added. "Our coach, the offensive coordinator, is a big Auburn fan and he always calls me up there to talk to coach Trooper (Taylor) and coach (Curtis) Luper. I think I fit really well in their offense."

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