Defensive Recruits Talk About Roof Departure

Auburn football commitments discuss Auburn's change at defensive coordinator with Ted Roof heading to UCF.

With Ted Roof expected to be announced as defensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida on Thursday, Auburn commitments have begun to receive word of Roof's move from Auburn.

Roof has been the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Auburn for the last three seasons.

"I was told by my coach, Coach (Keith) Etheredge," said Auburn's latest commit, Javiie Mitchell of Leeds High School. "It's just a good move for him to go somewhere he'll be comfortable at."

Asked if Roof's departure changes anything, Mitchell responded, "No sir." Asked if he still planned on enrolling at Auburn in January, Mitchell said, "Yes sir."

Though Tommy Thigpen was Mitchell's primary recruiter, Mitchell said of Roof, "He was a good friend."

Mitchell injured his shoulder during his senior season at Leeds and noted he will "most likely" go through spring drills at Auburn. "My shoulder is doing a lot better, and as far as surgery I'm not sure."

Cornerback commitment T.J. Davis of Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla, also found out the news of Roof's apparent departure from one of his high school coaches.

"I found out today from my defensive backs coach at Godby, Jeremiah Wilson," Davis said. "I was surprised at first. I thought he was playing at first. But overall I hope everything goes pretty good with him and wherever he decides to go. Hopefully, Auburn can get another defensive coordinator as good as him or better. It's going to be hard to replace him though."

Defensive lineman commitment Tyler Nero, who is in Montgomery this week preparing for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game that will be played on Saturday, was unaware of the news.

"Auburn's got to do what's best for the team," Nero said. "They've got to do what's best for the family, and he's got to do what's best for his coaching career.

"Our relationship is pretty good," Nero added of Roof. "He was one of the ones that was recruiting me."

Nero also said that Curtis Luper, who recruits the Mobile area for Auburn, and defensive line coach Mike Pelton are the coaches he is closest with on the staff.

Asked if the news changes anything, Nero responded, "Not at all."

Mitchell, Davis and Nero all said they don't expect to take any other visits.


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