With Auburn’s need for immediate help on the defensive line it comes as no surprise that standout junior college defensive end Paul James is ready to be a Tiger. On his official visit this weekend for the Idaho game, the 6-4, 255-pounder said he’s ready to get his career started on the Plains following a successful year at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Miss.
"I'm coming to Auburn," James said. "I love it at Auburn. I love the coaches and how everybody treats you like family.
"I knew when I first came over (for the AU-Ole Miss game) that I loved it," he added. "Growing up I always looked at Auburn as a great football school. I loved watching the Auburn-Alabama game. That was the one game I always looked forward to watching and now I'll get to play in it. I can't wait for that."
Capable of playing on the edge as a pass rusher and also holding things down against the run, James said Auburn is recruiting him to play the position that Cassanova McKinzy currently excels at for the Tigers. With the ability to rush the passer as well as drop back into more of a traditional linebacker at times, he said the spot is tailor made for him and made he does on the field.
Another big reason why James said he feels at home with Auburn is because of Will Muschamp and what he does on defense. An excitable coordinator that’s not afraid to show his passion for the game, Muschamp has had the Tigers playing much better this season and James said he’s ready to be part of things beginning in January.
"I'm looking forward to doing it at Auburn next year," James said. "I'm looking forward to playing for Coach Muschamp at Auburn. I love his intensity. I know we are going to click because I'm intense, too."
Originally signing with Illinois out of Norland High in Miami, James said the opportunity to reunite with close friend Carlton Davis is something he’s very much looking forward to as well with both expected to be a big part of Auburn’s plans in 2016.
"Carlton being there is big to me," James said. "We grew up playing ball and are really close. He has shown me during my visits how things are around there, how I can make my life better at Auburn."
James becomes the 15th commitment for Auburn in the 2016 class.