Albany, Ga., native Trenton Thompson, rated as the No.1 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com, said he had a "great" visit and that the Tigers are among his favorites, although they've still got some work to do to sway the Westover High standout to make a move to the Plains.
"Auburn's up there," said the 6-3, 289-pound five-star prospect. "They've got to do a little bit more to beat Georgia. Georgia's still that top school right now."
Auburn made an impression, though, by highlighting not only the football program, but also the academic services the Tigers have to offer.
"They love their players a lot, they key on academics, and that's what I'm looking for right now," Thompson said. "I'm looking for a new family and also to get a degree."
Thompson said a tour of Auburn's academic center stood out to him, and that defensive line coach Rodney Garner also stressed the importance of getting an education.
"He's key on academics. He stressed that," Thompson said. "He wants his players to be on a great plan. As long as they produce and get their degree and work hard — you've got to be mental: 80 percent mental, 20 percent physical."
Thompson also spent time with head coach Gus Malzahn, joining him for a baseball game on Friday and having a "good conversation" with him today.
"(Malzahn) said he put the best players on the field (against FSU) and looks for the best now, so he's key on recruiting," Thompson said.
Thompson joined two other five-star defensive tackle prospects visiting the Plains for junior day in Daron Payne and current Texas A&M commit Daylon Mack. Payne is ranked the No. 4 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com, while Mack is ranked No. 2.
"I spent a lot of time with Daylon Mack," Thompson said. "He's a good player. He's got a good motor. I like him a lot."
"I think if you're in your hometown and you feel good about it, you should stay," he added, when asked whether he talked with Mack about the two playing together in college. "He's talking about switching. I really don't know (what he'll do), but he was talking about it."
Overall, Thompson said it feels good in Auburn and that he "likes it a lot."
"They did a lot to impress me," he said. "They showed me a lot of love."