Monday Auburn Football Recruiting Notebook

Looking back at the commitment of big running back Malik Miller to the Auburn Tigers and notes on other big-time football visitors to the AU campus are featured.

Family Decision

For new Auburn commitment Malik Miller his comfort level at Auburn and with the AU coaching staff was a major part in his decision to choose the Tigers.

Tim Horton is Auburn’s running back coach and he also recruits the Huntsville area for the Tigers and that means being a presence at Madison Academy. That bond built over the last few years with Auburn also recruiting Kerryon Johnson is something that paid big dividends for Horton in Miller’s recruitment as well. Making frequent visits to Auburn, the big back said he knew Auburn was different on his first visit to the Plains and that feeling only got stronger with every passing trip as he got to know personally know Gus Malzahn, Auburn's head coach.

Finding the head coach to be very sociable and always available to the family to answer questions or just visit, Miller’s father said while there were plenty of factors that made Auburn the right call, as much as anything it ended up being the coaches that made the difference.

“Coach Horton has been a great recruiter,” Miller said. “No pressure from him, he’s just been sticking by us and any questions we wanted to ask he was there. Even Gus, he was really one of the coaches that was most reachable for us. That was important for my wife and I, not just Horton, but Coach Malzahn was reachable in the process.

“Not all head coaches are reachable, but he was. He talked to us about what Malik would mean to the program if he came, and then once we got to that point he asked Malik what his goals were. Malik told him what he wanted to do on the next level and after that, and he (Malzahn) said ‘if you come here I’m going to make it my goal to make your goals and dreams possible.’ That was it. He got Malik then.”

He’s No. 1

Auburn’s recruiting at defensive tackle has some fans concerned, but the good news is the Tigers are getting plenty of talented guys on campus for visits during the summer months. The latest came from the nation’s top prospect, Rashan Gary. A powerful player from New Jersey, Gary visited with his mom and a coach and enjoyed the trip enough to make plans for a return trip in July. If his mother makes the trip back that would be really important because she is going to be very instrumental in Gary’s decision when the time comes. The fact that she seemed to enjoy her first look at Auburn has to be considered positive for the Tigers.

Cook-ing With Gas

Another prospect who made a recent visit to Auburn was four-star defensive back and Florida State commitment Jamel Cook. At 6-4, 185 he is rated as one of the top safety prospects in the country, but lines up at cornerback for powerhouse Miami Central High. That’s also the position Auburn is recruiting him for the Tigers, something that could be big for Auburn if they can get him back on campus.

After watching Cook play in person he definitely has the skills to handle cornerback on the next level despite his size. Looking more like a shooting guard than a defensive back, Cook has great ball skills and is obviously a physical tackler. If Auburn secondary coach Travaris Robinson can get Cook in the 2016 class it would be one of the top players in the group regardless of position.

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