Swain Is A Tiger

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive tackle Maurice Swain chose Auburn over Mississippi State and Kentucky.

Perkinston, Miss.--Auburn’s good news from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College continued on Wednesday when elite athlete Jason Smith and big defensive tackle Maurice Swain both signed with the Tigers on the first of the early signing period for mid-year junior college enrollees.

Smith’s decision didn’t come as a surprise to anyone after committing to the Tigers in February and never wavering in his decision. A signee with Auburn two years ago out of McGill-Toolen in Mobile, Smith played quarterback this season for the Bulldogs and is expected to get a shot to play the position for the Tigers. If that doesn’t work out he could make a move to wide receiver, a position he excelled at when he won MVP honors in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic while catching passes from Jeremy Johnson.

For Swain it was a different story. Down to Auburn, Mississippi State and Kentucky, many thought he might choose to follow good friend Martinas Rankin to play for the Bulldogs, but that wasn’t the case. With a longtime relationship with Rodney Garner dating back to when Swain was playing at Troup County High in LaGrange, Ga., he chose to stay closer to home and play for the Tigers.

"I knew about 10 o'clock last night," Swain tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Auburn is just where I wanted to be, where I felt more comfortable. All along the potential for playing time and trying to start wasn't too much of a factor because I feel like if I come into any program I'm going to be the guy they are looking for or looking to. That wasn't too much a factor, it was just where I wanted to be, what made me proud, and where my family would be proud."

A player that has been on Auburn's radar since early last spring, Swain has made several trips to the Plains since then, but it took a while for the Tigers to pull the trigger on an offer. That might have been a red flag to some players, but for Swain it was just a sign that Auburn was willing to keep working with him until the timing was right.

"It helped me a lot," Swain said. "They were the guys that, when everybody else was just recruiting me, they were bringing me in. Even when I didn't have an offer they were still letting me know that even if I didn't have an offer they wanted me as part of the family. Even before all the offers came and I blew up, Auburn had been there."

Now preparing to get his career started in the SEC, Swain said getting the opportunity to play for new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is something that definitely has him excited about getting to Auburn in January.

"I already know he's a good guy," Swain said. "He offered me at Florida. He's a tough guy, but that's what this game is about. You've got to have tough skin. He's going to coach us right and get the defense where it needs to be."

As a sophomore this season for the Bulldogs Swain finished with 32 tackles, four and a half sacks and six tackles for losses in 10 games.

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