Greenville, Ala.--One of Auburn's top defensive recruits and most important guys in the 2016 class for the Tigers, Marlon Davidson was on campus this weekend for his official visit to get one final look at the program before enrolling early in January. Playing in next weekend’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, Davidson said this was the only free time for him to visit and it was important for him to make the trip.
“This is a visit that cleared up everything for me, knowing they can say whatever they want to say to me and talk however they want to talk and take me out to dinner or just sit down and chill,” Davidson said. “Just knowing how much they need me and how much they want me to come to Auburn just feels good.
“I will make my decision on Dec. 16th for sure with committing and everything since I’m going to be an early enrollee,” he added. “Auburn is a school where everybody should want to come.
“It’s just family, the coaches family and their wives and how they treat you. Just walking around the school you see everybody walking around saying War Eagle. That’s what you want to be around.”
With the news on Sunday that Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson are both expected to head to South Carolina where Muschamp is expected to be named head coach, there is plenty of uncertainty about who will be Auburn’s next defensive coordinator, but the same is true of Alabama and Georgia as well. He said those changes only show him more than ever that his decision should be about the fit and not just relationships.
“It doesn’t impact things at all because I’m not coming here for a coach,” Davidson said. “I’m coming here for the structure, culture, and everything Auburn has. To me it’s not really a coaching change for me knowing (Gus) Malzahn and my coach (Rodney Garner) is still here so I’m not really worried about nothing.”
Getting to sit down with Malzahn on Sunday morning, Davidson said he spoke with the head coach about the future of the defense and liked what he heard.
“He just said everything was going to be okay,” Davidson said. “He said he was going to bring the best defensive coordinator in that he can. That’s the only thing I want to know, am I still going to be able to have the chance to play and have fun?”
Davidson said that answer came in a resounding yes from Malzahn who made it no secret the standout defensive lineman is a guy the Tigers still very much covet.
“That’s strong because that’s what you always want,” Davidson said. “You want somebody to actually want you and actually need you. That’s a school that people should want to go to instead of a school where they don’t really need you and hang you up on the shelf like you’re a trophy.”
That relationship with Garner is a strong one and perhaps the biggest thing for the Tigers with Davidson. Someone has gotten close with since first coming to Auburn camps as a sophomore, Garner being around is huge for him he said.
“That’s very big because he’s more of a people person,” Davidson said. “He really wants to know what you think and how you feel at the same time. Then he wants to love you and coach you hard. That’s what I like, that’s how my coaches are at my old school. That’s the only thing I want to be around.”
Having his in-home visit with Malzahn earlier this week and still scheduled to have in-home visits with both Alabama and Georgia between now and the dead period which starts on Dec. 14, Davidson said he’s not sure which if any schools can make a run at the Tigers.
“I just don’t really know,” Davidson said. “I’m still with Auburn and I’m going to stay committed. If some people keep coming I’ll be willing to go (on a visit).”