Two-Way Standout High On Tigers

Talented offensive lineman D.J. Reader is also a prospect on the baseball diamond.

Greensboro, N.C.—A standout on the football field as well as the baseball diamond, Grimsley's D.J. Reader isn't your typical two-sport star. You don't find many offensive linemen that also are good enough at baseball to earn major college scholarships, but that's exactly the case with the 6-4, 306 Reader.

On Sunday the dual threat took an unofficial visit to Auburn to talk both football and baseball as he spent time with Coach Gene Chizik and his staff as well as Coach John Pawlowski at Plainsman Park. He said the trip was exactly what he was looking to see out of Auburn.

"The visit was really good," Reader said. "I had a lot of fun. Coach (Jeff) Grimes, it was really nice talking to him and Coach (Gene) Chizik. It was an all-around good visit. I got to talk some baseball because I'm definitely going to do both in college. It was good to get down there and do both."

Set on playing both sports on the next level with that playing a big part in his future decision, Reader said it was important for him to see both football and baseball at Auburn as well as get a plan for how that would work should he choose the Tigers.

"Having an opportunity to see both was big," Reader said. "A lot of colleges only give you the chance to play one, but to have somebody especially the national champions say to you that you would have a chance to play both, that's really nice. He (Chizik) gave me a layout of what my four years would look like if I played both there. It was really good to see."

Throwing consistently from 88-90 MPH with the ability to throw a curveball, change-up and a cutter, Reader was 3-1 with an ERA under 2.00 last season in high school. At the plate he hit .545 with three home runs and only struck out four times. Because of those numbers the three-star offensive lineman is very interested in Auburn's baseball program.

"He's a really stand-up guy," Reader said. "He's got the program going in the right direction. They made it to the regionals two years ago and have some good players on the way. It's a good program."

After having the opportunity to spend some quality time on the Plains Reader said there is a lot to like about the Tigers in both areas and he plans to see even more from the Tigers down the road.

"Auburn is really up there," Reader said. "It's really nice. Anytime you get looked at by the national champs you're going to be excited. You could see they have a lot of interest in me. To see the players they're getting and for them to have interest in me is nice. Auburn is a really good school with a good football program and good baseball program. It's just all out good."

Hoping to narrow his list down to a Top Five from an offer list of 26 schools by the end of the summer heading into his senior year, the offensive guard said he doesn't plan on making his decision until on or close to signing day. He said while he's not sure what schools will comprise his final list he's got a pretty good feeling on at least three of them at the moment.

"The ones that will definitely be finalists are probably Maryland, East Carolina and Auburn," Reader said. "A few other schools will probably be finalists.

"I'm going to take all five official visits," he added. "I'm going to sit down with my parents and narrow things down. I'll probably take an official this fall to Auburn and if not then it will be this winter when I'm off during basketball season."

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