Bluechip Football Prospect Discusses His Favorites

One of the most highly regarded prospects in the South gives his take on Auburn's off the field problems.

Columbia, S.C.--While the talk of Coach Tommy Tuberville's future with the Auburn Tigers has been the rage in Alabama for much of the last week, it has ventured into homes of recruits across the Southeast as well. One of those who has been keeping an eye on everything happening on the Plains is offensive lineman Leon Hart from Spring Valley High.

Considered by many the top offensive line prospect in the South this year, the 6-4, 280-pounder with good feet and strength has offers from colleges around the country. One of those schools is Auburn and Hart says that no matter how the coaching situation turned out that he was going to give the Tigers a look before signing day.

"I thought a little while about it, but if I know something was to happen I'm interested in Auburn as a school," Hart tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "That's one thing you have to look at. A coach is part of the equation, but you have to look at more than the coach. You have to look at the school. I feel comfortable where the coaches are right now.

"I think sometimes people might weigh a little too much on the coaches. They are not guaranteed those coaches will be there all the time they are there. It's something to weigh, but I don't think you should put a lot on it."

Hart's mind was put at ease this week when Auburn made a visit to see Hart at school along with several other high profile teammates including Mack Frost and Anthony Davis. In the first week of in-home visits, Hart says he's been pretty busy keeping everyone happy and having enough time for everyone.

"This week I've had a couple of coaches come by since this is the first week that they can," Hart says. "I know it's about to get real hectic now. I've had South Carolina, Maryland, Clemson and Auburn come by. Coach Nall (Hugh Nall) and Coach Price (Terry Price) came by the school to see me and said they were going to come by the house next week."

Leon Hart

One advantage Auburn has in recruiting Hart is that AU has a former high school teammate doing well for the Tigers this season. Sophomore linebacker Travis Williams, Auburn's third-leading tackler, was a standout at Spring Valley High. Hart says that he got a chance to spend a lot of time with Williams when he visited for the Alabama game, his first time to see Auburn play in person.

"It was my first time at an Auburn game and I really enjoyed the whole experience," Hart says. "The crowd gets really loud. Before I went to the Auburn-Alabama game I would say Clemson was probably the loudest stadium I've been in and I would compare Auburn with Clemson because the fans get pretty loud."

"After the game we spent the night in Auburn at his duplex," Hart says of Williams. "We got a chance to hang out with some of the football players. It was a good experience because I had never been to a game before. I really enjoyed the experience."

Williams has his choice of many schools, but he says he's narrowed his list to five heading into his first official visit this weekend. "Out of my top five schools I'm all even with those schools," Hart says. "I'm looking at South Carolina, Ohio State, Virginia, Auburn and Georgia. Coming up this weekend I have a visit to Ohio State. Next weekend I have Georgia. January 9 I have Auburn, on the 16th I have South Carolina set up and for the 23rd I have Virginia."

While the events on the Auburn campus have been tough on Auburn coaches, players and fans, it hasn't stopped a standout player like Hart from giving the Tigers a long look.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories