Stone Mountain, Ga.--One of the earliest commitments in the 2017 class for the Auburn Tigers, four-star defensive back Carlito Gonzalez is a full year away since he chose Coach Gus Malzahn’s programs over offers from several other top programs.
Preparing for his senior season at Stephenson High, Gonzalez said he’s preparing to take on an additional role this season with the move of Aaron Sterling to nearby Tucker High. With the loss of a top pass rusher, Gonzalez noted he will be called on for more coverage duties this season in addition to playing safety.
“I have been working on my coverage skills and my pressing technique,” Gonzalez said. “This year I won’t just be playing safety, I’ll be playing cornerback also. I have been working on learning the different techniques I’ll have to use in different situations. I have just been preparing mentally and physically.”
At 6-1, 184 pounds, Gonzalez has the frame to add weight and be an enforcer at the safety position, but with Auburn playing big cornerbacks like Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean this season he said having the opportunity to play that role this year could give him more options.
“Sometimes there can be a bigger receiver on a smaller cornerback so they can just move me,” Gonzalez said. “I look forward to doing that.”
Getting his decision done very early, Gonzalez said he has been able to focus on football and academics as he prepares to join the AU team in January as an early graduate.
“I’m enjoying it because Auburn is family,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just looking forward to seeing how the season is going to go. I missed out on a couple of the events this summer, but I’m going to make a lot of the games this year. I’m ready to see how this 2016 class coming in does.”
Part of an impressive group of commitments in the 2017 class, Gonzalez said he is helping to recruit for the Tigers and always tries to contact prospects who are showing interest in Auburn.
“I’m very excited,” Gonzalez said. “The class is going to be very versatile. I’m already friends with guys like Malcolm (Askew) and Chandler (Wooten) and many of the 2017 commits. We’re going to continue adding and it’s only going to get better from here on out.”