Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive end Daquan Newkirk made his first visit in more than a year to The Plains when he recently took in the festivities at Big Cat Weekend.
Newkirk originally committed to Auburn in 2015 out of The First Academy in Orlando, and has stuck with the Tigers since heading to junior college.
The 6-3, 280-pound defensive lineman said it was “refreshing” to be back on campus.
“I hadn’t been here in forever,” he said. “It’s been about 15 months. That’s a long time so it feels great to be here.”
Newkirk didn’t get a chance to meet with defensive coordinator Kevin Steele the last time he visited, but the two were able to talk during Big Cat Weekend.
Newkirk said he had a good visit with Steele while pointing out that he’s also had a longtime relationship with defensive line coach Rodney Garner.
He added that everything is on track for him to graduate in December and enroll after the first of the year.
Newkirk said some colleges are still pursuing him, including South Carolina, but that’s he’s “100 percent” committed to the Tigers.
“They’re low key with it, but they know how committed I am to Auburn so they don’t want to come out fully,” he added.
Newkirk was originally recruited to play defensive end, but he’s gained size and could possibly slide to the interior of the line in the future.
“I’m still versatile,” he said. “I still have my speed. I’m just a little bigger. I can play inside or outside, either one.”
Aside from getting to meet Auburn players like Jason Smith, Tray Matthews and Calvin Ashley, Newkirk said just getting back to Auburn made this visit enjoyable.
“I love the place. Anything that comes with this is just love,” he said.