Physical Juco Safety Chooses Auburn

Talented junior college safety Derrick Moncrief made his decision on Friday as the former Prattville standout committed to the Auburn Tigers.

Prattville, Ala.--Coach Gus Malzahn and Auburn continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday when Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College safety Derrick Moncrief gave his verbal commitment to the Tigers.

"It was just the coaches," Moncrief said on what swayed him to Auburn. "They are really down to earth. They just made it feel like home away from home.

"I love the facilities," he added. "The academic side of things really hit me. They really care about their players and the graduation rate. That was it for me."

A 6-3, 226-pounder who was a standout for the Prattville Lions in high school, Moncrief chose Auburn over offers from Oklahoma State and Kentucky.

With a lack of depth at the safety position this spring in a defense that relies on the spot to be an enforcer in the 4-2-5 alignment, Moncrief noted that he is excited to have the chance to play early and can't wait to get to Auburn.

"That was huge for me," he said. "I have two years so I want to come in right away and make an impact. We want to make a run for a national championship.

"The defense is comfortable for me," he added. "We're doing something similar in junior college so I won't have a big transition. I can just play the game of football the way I play it."

Already very familiar with Auburn going back to his high school days, Moncrief recently made a trip to the Plains to meet with Malzahn and safety coach Charlie Harbison. He pointed out that trip was big for him because it gave him a feel for what the program is going to be like under the new staff.

"They are really just down to earth," Moncrief said. "I just feel like I'm at home. It's just about the communication part now. I really like Coach Harbison. He wants the best. He stresses academics and that I can come in right away and play."

Originally committed to Southern Miss out of Prattville, Moncrief now gets to play for a school he grew up following over and over again as a young player. He says it's something he always envisioned and now he's one step closer to making it a reality.

"Growing up I watched Auburn play on TV," Moncrief said. "It's a big dream come true. I'm just ready to play. One more year at junior college and I'm going to be ready. War Eagle.

"I feel like Coach Malzahn is ready to take Auburn to the next level," he said. "I think he's ready to win a national championship. He just has to get the players, but they are already locked in. I'm just ready to get there."

Moncrief, who is scheduled to graduate from junior college in December, joins four-star linebacker Tre Williams from Mobile as Auburn's newest commitments. He becomes the sixth high school junior to give his public commitment for the Tigers with another one possible this Sunday morning when Vigor defensive end Justin Thornton chooses between Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M.

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