Montgomery, Ala.--Coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers got a big Christmas gift under the tree on Sunday when 6-5, 255 Alec Jackson from Jeff Davis High chose the Tigers over Florida, Ole Miss and USC among his many offers.
A physical defensive lineman that should make the move inside to defensive tackle for Coach Rodney Garner, Jackson grew up an Auburn fan and decided playing at his childhood favorite was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"I would like to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play football," Jackson said. "I also want to thank my mother, father and everyone who had an impact on my life to make me the person I am today. Thanks to the coaches who gave me the opportunity to come play for their colleges. I'm truly humbled to say I'm verbally committed to Auburn University."
Originally planning to wait until signing day before announcing his decision, Jackson said he felt like it was the right time after doing some soul-searching.
"I prayed to make sure I was making the right choice," Jackson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Right after I felt good about my decision."
Building a strong bond with Garner during the recruiting process, Jackson said watching the Tigers play this season gave him a very good feeling about the defense on the Plains in the future.
Jackson had a strong showing during Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Week in Montgomery.
With Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Maurice Swain all gone from the Tigers after the Sugar Bowl, Auburn will be looking to bolster the depth up front and with Garner's history of playing a lot of guys in his rotation that means a great chance for Jackson to see the field early.
“I like everything,” Jackson said of Auburn. "Just knowing they have a great defensive line and that the coaches want me, it’s great just to know that I showed enough talent for him (Rodney Garner) to notice me and to be able to play for him."
Jackson becomes the 18th commitment in the 2017 class for the Tigers and the first defensive lineman, part of what is expected to be three guys signed by Garner this year. Athletic with very good closing speed, Jackson projects as a tackle down the road because of his frame but he has the ability to play on the edge early if needed. With strong hands and very good quickness he could be a force for Auburn's defensive line in the future.