Visit to Auburn Impresses S.C. Linebacker

A 2013 prospect who could play either linebacker or safety was impressed by first visit to Auburn.

Spartanburg, S.C.--Class of 2013 prospect Justin Bridges-Thompson made the trip to the Plains to check out the Auburn football program on Saturday for the Tigers' third Junior Day.

Bridges-Thompson's first visit to Auburn made quite the impression on the South Carolina prospect, who is projected at safety but is also being looked at as a linebacker by Auburn.

"Oh, man, my visit was great," he said. "Just walking around, touring everything, especially on the field, watching the coaches at practice, the players playing. The intensity was high. It was really great. I really love it there. I feel at home here at Auburn."

"To tell you the truth, the best schools I've visited so far have been Wake Forest and Auburn," he added. "Especially Saturday, I think Auburn came on top."

The 6-2, 205-pound Bridges-Thompson said he arrived late, but was still able to take in most of Auburn's second spring practice. He also got to meet with lead recruiter and linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen.

"He's a good coach; he really knows his stuff," noted Bridges-Thompson. "You can tell. You can see it. All the kids really like him. He's straightforward."

He had to wait until the early evening for what he was eager to do on the trip--meet with Auburn head coach Gene Chizik.

"Coach Chizik, he's an enthusiastic man," Bridges-Thompson said. "He's a man about his business. He's a really good guy.

"I think he's probably looking at me at outside linebacker," he added. "He told me a little bit of that, but he still said see what I can do at safety. When I come back down here to the camp. He wants to see me work out."

The Tigers don't want Bridges-Thompson to wait until a summer camp to take another trip to Auburn, however.

"They definitely want me back down here," he said. "They want me back, I think, for the spring game or another spring practice as soon as possible. They really want me back down here."

Bridges-Thompson said he's looking for a school where he can be successful as both an athlete and a student, adding that he has an interest in teaching children.

"Education comes first," he said. "I might break a leg and might have something to fall back on, so I can grow, mature. Right now, I'm really interested in teaching kids, even with training, football training. Any kind of physical education."

Although he excels at both basketball and track for Spartanburg High School, Bridges-Thompson recently gave up those pursuits to focus entirely on training for football.

"This year, I really had to make a choice because I'm really good at basketball and track, too, but I had to make a choice because of football," he explained.

Bridges-Thompson, who currently holds offers from Arizona, N.C. State, Pittsburg and Wake Forest, said South Carolina and Clemson may be close to extending offers.

He is staying busy this spring with trips planned to visit Wake Forest, Alabama and Oregon.

The safety/linebacker prospect said he thinks he had 155 tackles, seven quarterback hurries, three knockdowns and two forced fumbles as a junior playing middle linebacker.

For his senior season, he expects to move out to outside linebacker or safety, which he calls his "true position."

"I'm the type of person where I can play all of it," he said. "It depends on what's open, the need and I'm willing to play. But I like to come down and hit, but I still like to play back deep, too, since I'm a big guy back there too, so it really doesn't matter."

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