Gladewater, Tex.--One of the top defensive tackle prospects in the country, five-star Daylon Mack, had a dominant performance in the Under Armour All-American Game just over a week ago. Proving impossible to block for many of the highest-rated offensive line prospects in the nation, Mack was in the backfield the entire game.
That’s exactly the type of player the Auburn Tigers are looking for with Will Muschamp coming on-board to coach the defense for Coach Gus Malzahn. With a lot of holes to fill up front with big losses on the line from 2014, Malzahn made it known to Mack how much he was wanted and needed at Auburn. That resulted in a change for the powerful tackle as he will now visit Auburn on Jan. 23 instead of his original plans to see the home state Texas Longhorns.
“I didn’t have a number saved on my phone and it kept calling me and calling me,” Mack tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. “It ended up being Coach Malzahn. He called me a few times when I was in Orlando after the game. He had called me when I was on the bus and called me a few times over the week. I ended up answering and it was Coach Malzahn. That’s how it kind of got back going.
“Coach Muschamp had really gotten on me and I was a big fan of him while he was at Florida,” he added. “Now he is at Auburn, that is real big for me. I had a whole lot of interest in Florida and me and my mom liked it there. We had Skyped with him and talked with him. He’s a really good guy.”
Daylon Mack was a force in the middle during the Under Armour game
A visitor to Auburn in February, Mack had a lot of interest early in the Tigers before committing to Texas A&M. Since then he has focused on other programs, but when Malzahn came calling he said it brought those feelings back once again.
“It’s just a great school,” Mack said of Auburn. “They were real hot at the time I was real interested in them. At the time though I was real big on the Aggies, but that’s not the case right now. It’s pretty neutral with everybody with TCU having a slight lead. It’s just a great school and getting Coach Muschamp just makes them more attractive to me.”
Something that could help Auburn is Mack got a chance at the Under Armour game to interact with several future Tigers. Playing on the same roster as Kerryon Johnson, Jordan Colbert, Richard McBryde, D’Anfernee McGriff and Bailey Sharp, he said it was one commitment and one possible commitment that talked to him the most.
“Kerryon kind of talked to me a little bit,” Mack said. “Jeff Holland talked to me about Auburn a little bit, too. I really wasn’t big on them up there at the game, but Coach Malzahn calling me as many times as he did and Coach Muschamp being there I feel like I would consider them more than Texas. That’s why I moved Texas out and moved Auburn in.”
With Auburn’s huge weekend coming up beginning on Friday, it would make sense to have Mack in alongside many of the other top names in the country, but Malzahn had other ideas and that is just fine with the five-star. Throw in a visit from Rodney Garner and the Tigers are in a good spot with Mack.
“He told me he wanted to spend more time with me and the best time was on the 23rd,” Mack said. “He already felt like he had too many guys on the 16th. That really means a lot to me that he wants to spend more time. It also means a lot to me that Coach Garner is coming down to visit me on Thursday, me and my family. That means a lot to me.
“Coach Muschamp staying on me the way he did is big, too,” he added. “I can tell they are really interested in me. I feel like I need to give them a look since I was interested in them early on. To have a coach I was real big on (Muschamp) and to now have him on my side of the ball, I feel like that’s another reason to give them a look.”
Planning to choose between Auburn, Texas A&M and TCU on signing day, Mack will see the Aggies and Tigers officially on back-to-back weeks before taking an unofficial visit to see the Horned Frogs on Jan. 30. While the visits will tell the tale ultimately, Mack said the lack of depth for the Tigers is definitely something he’s going to look at closely.
“Early playing time is real big for me,” Mack said. “That’s one of the things Coach Muschamp was telling me when we started talking was that they are losing eight defensive linemen. I did not know that. That’s crazy. He said the opportunity to come in and play early is going to be real high.”