Harrell "I'm An Auburn Tiger"

Marquel Harrell discusses his commitment to the Auburn Tigers and why he chose Gus Malzahn's program.

Fairburn, Ga.--Auburn picked up its second offensive line commitment in the last three days on Monday when big Marquel Harrell chose the Tigers over Alabama, Tennessee and several others. A frequent visitor to the Plains in the past month, Harrell joins fellow Georgian Bailey Sharp as Auburn offensive line commitments for the Tigers.

"It was just the fact that Auburn is home to me," the 6-3, 305 Harrell tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's like a second home. Auburn is one of the best programs in the country. That's why I chose them.

"It has just been on my mind heavily," he adds. "I just sat and prayed about it. That's where I want to spend the rest of my career."

An early commitment to Ole Miss, Harrell is rated a three-star prospect at the guard position by Scout.com and should be a fit at one of the interior line positions in Auburn's offense. Playing on a loaded team at Creekside High, Harrell is a player that has a chance to be a physical blocker on the next level in Auburn's offense.

One of the keys to his decision was the comfort level he felt with the staff and in particular Coach Gus Malzahn. Saying he's known for about two weeks that he was going to commit to Auburn, Harrell said that the weekend he got his offer from the Tigers was a big one for him.

"The first time I went down there it was about just getting around and meeting some of the players," he said. "I got a chance to meet the coaches and just go around the facilities. The second time I went was a couple of days later when Coach (J.B.) Grimes told me to come back down there. He told me that he thought they were going to offer me. Just going inside the office with Coach Malzahn was a great experience."

Marquel Harrell

Getting to know the coaching staff was made easier when Creekside assistant and former Auburn standout Travis Williams returned to the Tigers as a defensive analyst. That relationship is a big one for Harrell as is having Josh Holsey on the team as well. A former teammate in high school, Harrell said Holsey has pushed Auburn from the beginning and everything he said turned out to be true.

"That's big because when I first got offered he (Holsey) told me that he understood I had all these other offers, but there was no place like Auburn," he said. "I did my research and I realized he actually might know what he's talking about for the first time."

Harrell will play for Grimes once he gets to Auburn, a veteran offensive line coach that has done a great job of transforming the Tigers in his one season on the Plains. Mentoring future NFL first-rounder Greg Robinson as well as All-SEC performer Reese Dismukes, Grimes gets the most out of his players and that's something that stands out to Harrell.

"Coach Grimes is the best," Harrell said. "He always calls me his partner. He's one of the greatest coaches in the NCAA in my opinion. What he does with the offensive line is so amazing. He turns guys into some of the best players in the country like Greg Robinson. It's just amazing what he can do.

"He's like a little firecracker," he added. "He's not that big. Most offensive line coaches played there and you would think they would be real big, but he's like a little short man that gets it done."

Having already committed and de-committed once, Harrell said while some people might think that means he's not sure of what he wants that couldn't be farther from the truth.

"I'm done," Harrell said. "I'm an Auburn Tiger. I'm done. War Eagle."


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