Madison, Ala.--The state of Alabama’s top-ranked offensive tackle prospect, Austin Troxell of Madison Academy, has been a regular visitor to Auburn in recent years. On Saturday the four-star recruit said that he plans to spend a lot more time on the Plains in the future as he announced his commitment to Coach Gus Malzahn’s football team.
"It is a burden off my shoulders to finally have my decision made," said Troxell, who made the trip to Auburn along with his parents and girlfriend to tell AU's coaches he wants to play football for their team. "I am finished with recruiting. Auburn is the right fit for me."
The six-foot-seven, 325-pounder was back at Auburn exactly two weeks after he was on campus for AU’s annual Big Cat Weekend. With Troxell on board the Tigers have eight commitments for the 2017 signee class. "Big Cat was a big day for me," he pointed out. "That basically finalized the decision for me. Seeing all of the coaches be laid back, and stuff like that, was big."
Troxell chose Auburn over Alabama, his childhood favorite, and also considered Georgia and Ole Miss, but this one came down to an in-state recruiting battle between the Tigers and Tide. At Auburn he will join a pair of his high school teammates, sophomore running back Kerryon Johnson and freshman running back Malik Miller.
"There is no looking back now," he said. "It is 100 percent Auburn. I'm ready."
Troxell and his family celebrate his commitment with the Auburn coaching staff
Troxell, Miller and Johnson played together at Jordan-Hare Stadium in December of 2014 when Madison Academy won a state championship. Since that time Auburn has made the tall offensive tackle a high priority recruit and was the first college to offer him a scholarship.
Auburn’s interest did not change even though the Tigers switched offensive line coaches with Herb Hand taking over for J.B. Grimes, and the same is true with Troxell's interest in the AU program.
Austin Troxell is the eighth verbal commitment for the 2017 Auburn football signee class.
Asked why he chose the Tigers, he said, “Just the fit, the coaches. Nothing against any other school, it just fit in best personally. That is what made my decision for me.”
The Tigers now have two high-profile offensive tackles committed for the 2017 class. "They aren't guaranteeing me anything, but me and Calvin (Calvin Ashley) are two of the best offensive tackles in the country, they said...so they are set for a couple of years with us. That is big right there."
Troxell it will be nice to be teammates with Ashley, but noted that wasn't a big factor in his college choice. "It is pretty big right there, him being a five-star caliber player he is," Troxell said when talking about his future team.
"It feels good right now," he said of making a decision to play for the Tigers. "I am so happy it is all over. It's Auburn-only, 100 percent."
Troxell, who has made numerous trips to spend time at Auburn, is scheduled to graduate at Madison Academy in May and notes he is an 'A's and B's' student in high school.
"Coach Malzahn and all of the coaches were excited when I told them I am coming," the lineman said. "They thanked me for believing in them and believing in the system."