Madison, Ala.--Continuing his recovery from a knee injury that cut short his junior season, 2017 four-star offensive tackle Austin Troxell from Madison Academy looks much different than the 230 pound offensive tackle/tight end that first burst onto the scene as a sophomore. Now 6-7, 309, Troxell looks the part of a dominating offensive tackle and that’s one of the reasons why he’s very high on Auburn Tigers recruiting board.
A target for new offensive line Coach Herb Hand, Troxell was on campus two weeks ago for a junior day and was back again on Saturday to watch the Tigers put on the pads in spring practice. Seeing the team on the field and Hand in action, Troxell said everything about the visit went great.
“I really like Coach Hand,” Troxell said. “I spent a lot of time with him watching some film. I got to watch him coach up the guys today. He had a lot of energy. I really like him.
“He wants to coach me up. He really wants me and I’m an in-state guy and that’s important to him,” he added of Hand. “That’s important to me and it shows. I can tell the need and getting a lot of attention. It’s really nice.”
The energy on the practice field was one thing that jumped out to Troxell while watching the Tigers, but another was the lack of depth and talent at offensive tackle. It’s no secret Auburn is on the hunt for a big group of tackles in the 2017 class and Troxell said that’s something important to him.
“It popped out,” Troxell said of the tackle spot. “The need for offensive tackles is a big need. It’s really noticeable.”
With former teammates Kerryon Johnson and Malik Miller already on the Auburn campus Troxell said both are guys that can answer questions for him about the program and give him a good feel about what to expect with the Tigers. That’s something that is a positive right now for a school that Troxell said he’s getting closer with every day.
“It’s just the atmosphere and the coaches,” Troxell said. “I don’t know, there’s something different around there that keeps me coming back. I just keep on going down building relationships.”
Expected to come down to an in-state battle between Auburn and Alabama, Troxell said he plans to be back in Tuscaloosa soon to watch a practice. When the time comes to make that choice Troxell said it’s definitely going to be a tough one.
“It’s going to be hard, especially when I chose where I’m going to go,” Troxell said. “I just have to do what’s best for me.”