McCalla, Ala.--Planning to enroll early with the Auburn Tigers, four-star defensive back Malcolm Askew from McAdory High has been a key part of the 2017 recruiting efforts for Coach Gus Malzahn’s club with the bonds that he’s built with other recruits in the class.
Liking what he’s seen from the Auburn defense so far this season, Askew has taken the time to visit Cal and could possibly still take a trip to Oklahoma, but in his mind those are just for enjoyment as he’s fully set to be on the Plains in late December.
“To me it’s very important because a lot of people talk about playing time, but you have things you need to do in order to get on the field,” Askew tells Inside The Auburn Tigers about strength and conditioning, learning the defense and other aspects of getting a head start.
“It will also help me with my academics and graduating early and possibly getting my degree in three years,” he added. “I’ll be on track to do that. I just felt like when I was there and stayed this summer, I talked to the early enrollee guys and they said it was a great fit for them and helped them just to get settled in with everything like time schedules. I feel like it will help my body get ready for the season and possibly a starting position.”
Planning to take his visit to Auburn in December for the senior weekend when that group is honored for their time on the Plains, Askew said he’s ready to have his time with the Tigers after he finishes up what has been a hugely successful career with the Yellow Jackets.
“Right now I just feel like Auburn is where I need to be,” Askew said. “I’m going to see if I can get more visits in, but if they don’t plan out like I want them to I’m fine with Auburn because that’s the school I’m committed to. I know it’s a great program and I’m still 110 percent committed there.”
When Askew chose Auburn there were plenty of questions about just what the Tigers would look like on defense. While some expected them to be improved from last season coming off a very good performance over Memphis in a bowl win, just how much was still the question. Through six games the talented defensive back said you can see a huge difference on the field.
“It’s very exciting just because there’s a big difference from last year to this year,” Askew noted. “I knew Coach Steele was good at LSU and he’s a great coach. All of the guys had said great things to say about Coach McGriff and Coach Steele and that defensive staff.
“I knew it was just going to be a great defense. They all love each other and it’s a big family at Auburn. To be great you have to be unselfish and love each other and play as a team. That’s what I feel like they do and that’s why they’re such a great defense.”
That defense has been part of the reason why the Tigers have turned things around following a tough start. Losses to Clemson and Texas A&M put Auburn in an early hole, but winning three straight games has the team on a roll heading into a bye week. Askew said despite the struggles you can see this team growing.
“It has been great because just being there in the offseason and seeing how they were working I knew they would mold together here recently,” Askew said. “People thought it would be a rough season the way we started out, but the last few games they’ve built some great momentum and the offense has gotten going. I just feel like they’re playing as a team now and I feel like it will be a great season for us.”
One of the center pieces of a recruiting class that Auburn is looking to bring in this year, Askew has been a big part of helping bring other guys on board. That’s something he said he’ll continue to do as the Tigers look to build on this year’s defense moving forward with plenty of young talent to work with in the future, including freshmen Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown up front.
“Marlon is having one heck of a freshman season right now,” Askew said. “As long as they get pressure on the quarterback that just makes our job that much easier. That’s a great thing to have such a great defensive line and great linebackers.
“We’ll have a great 2017 class of linebackers coming in with us also. All of those young guys are just filling in those spots and I feel like the defense is just going to continue to get stronger as the years come on.”