Versatile Athlete Becomes Second Auburn Verbal

The football Tigers added their second verbal commitment of the 2004 recruiting season.

Fort Payne, Ala.--Coach Tommy Tuberville and the Auburn Tigers picked up their second verbal commitment for the Class of 2004 when athlete Marcus Carter told the coaching staff of his intention to sign with the Tigers. A 6-1, 190 running back/defensive back with 4.46 speed in the 40-yard dash, Carter will be a three-year starter for Fort Payne next season.

Excelling at both running back and strong safety, he rushed for 710 yards on 105 carries last season with seven touchdowns and added 75 tackles with two interceptions on defense with one touchdown. In addition to those duties, he also returned both punts and kickoffs last season and had a touchdown in each specialty, with the punt going for 76 yards.

While he could play a number of positions for the Tigers, Carter is expected to get his first look on defense for the Tigers at either cornerback or safety. With the lack of depth at cornerback, Carter says that he's looking forward to coming in and challenging for immediate playing time in the fall of 2004. His coach said that Auburn is getting a terrific football player whose best days are ahead of him.

"He told me he committed to Auburn last night," Fort Payne Coach Dale Pruitt said. "Marcus is a very good football player. He's only been playing football for two years. He's a very physical football player. He runs the football extremely well. I think last year he blocked a punt, returned a punt for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He's done about everything you can possibly do on the football field.

"I think what makes him a prospect for everybody is the fact that he's six-feet tall and weighs 193 pounds and can run like a kid that is 5-8, 160 pounds. He runs extremely well. He's a very physical kid and he's only 16-years old. He may grow into 6-2, 220 before it's all over with. He could play anywhere from cover corner to linebacker."

The speedster has been hearing from a variety of schools since the spring evaluation period got underway. Pruitt said that Carter was becoming a hot commodity lately with schools all over the South and country coming by or calling.

"Today has been a very busy day," he said. "Two or three phone calls from just about everybody in Division II, just in case something happens. I got a phone call from Notre Dame, they are coming Monday. I've talked to LSU, Southern Miss was by today. We've talked to Clemson, it's been pretty busy."

Carter adds to a class that was started when junior college linebacker Greg Wilkerson committed to Auburn last month. A 6-4, 244 sophomore at Butler County Community College in Kansas, Wilkerson was a verbal to the Tigers two years ago before grade problems forced him to attend a junior college. A second-team All-Jayhawk Conference selection last season for Butler County when he had 61 tackles and one sack, Wilkerson is a big, physical linebacker that should challenge right away for playing time in the fall of 2004.

(More will follow on this story later tonight.)

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