Big, strong athletes are always a hot commodity around the country at most schools and Auburn is looking to stock up as quarterback Wesley Hill told Tiger coaches this weekend that he will sign a letter-of-intent to be an Auburn Tiger in December and enroll in classes in January.
Florida State, UAB, Troy State and Middle Tennessee State were some of the other schools Hill says he considered, but in the end he said it has been his dream to play for the Tigers. Following in the footsteps of some former Crisp County players who played at Auburn, Hill will likely get his first chance on offense for the Tigers at either quarterback or tight end, depending on how he progresses in the winter conditioning program under coach Kevin Yoxall.
"I've always liked Auburn," he notes. "I grew up a Georgia fan to be honest with you and then a couple of guys from my school went over to Auburn, Whit Smith and Josh Weldon. They went to Auburn and I started going over there and seeing them play and I started liking Auburn. I've been talking to Coach (Hugh) Nall and some of the other coaches and they told me some things. It's just a good school and a good town to go to."
Playing quarterback for his father Clay Hill at Crisp County, Hill excels in the spread offense they employ and has led his team to a 5-1 record. He already has more than 1,500 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions, including a 320-yard effort in a 27-25 win over Clarke-Central of Athens earlier in the season. At 6-3, 215 pounds with 4.8 speed in the 40, Hill has the ability to play not only quarterback but several other positions if he continues to grow. Right now his focus is only on being the best quarterback he can be.
"In Auburn's offense you have to know who to throw the ball to," Hill says. "I think I have a pretty good head on my shoulders and that's what helps me out a lot. I know where to go with the ball and what to do. The main thing I work on is my speed. I'm not blessed with a lot of speed, but I work on it a lot. I do quickness drills and things like that."
Hill got a chance to see Auburn in a different light, other than being a fan, this summer when he attended a summer football camp on the campus. With camp visits to UAB, South Carolina and Georgia in addition to his visit to the Plains, Hill said Auburn's offensive coordinator made a big impact on him the little time he got to spend with him.
"I worked with Coach (Noel) Mazzone when I came over there and I liked him a lot. He taught me a few things when I was over there. It got me going about Auburn football and I liked it a lot."
Also a standout on the baseball diamond as a pitcher and first baseman, Hill batted .370 as a junior. He notes that he also plays the three-guard in baskeball but calls himself a role player who can shoot a little bit. Now that he has made his decision, he will probably want to thank his old hometown players for guiding him to the college of his choice. Once he got a taste of it, Hill says he was hooked.
"It was more just Auburn," he says. "They had a little bit of impact on me. They told how good the place was and how much fun they have over there. But, I just wanted to be a Tiger I guess you could say."
Hill joins 6-1, 214 linebacker Tyrone Martin from Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City, 6-4 1/2, 250 tight end Lawrence Lilly from Montevallo and 6-1, 195 defensive back Brandon Williams from Shaw High School in Columbus as the latest Tiger commitments. The following is a run-down of the rest of the Auburn verbals.
•Greg Wilkerson, a 6-3, 230 pound athlete from Bowdon, Ga., High, who will be placed in junior college by the Tigers.
•Justin Bruce, a 6-9, 250, 4.6 tight end from Pepperell High in Lindale, Ga.
•Kevin Sears, a 6-4 1/2, 217-pound, 4.6 defensive back from Russellville High.
•William Ward, a 6-2, 250, 4.9 center for Prattville High. He is also an excellent deep snapper.
•Oliver King, a 6-2, 215, 4.5 linebacker is from North Surry High in Mount Airy, N.C.
•Kevis Burnam is a 6-2, 230, 4.6 linebacker from Macon County High in Montezuma, Ga.
•Seante Williams is a 6-5, 250, 4.65 defensive end at Coffeyville, Kan., Community College who is originally from Pine Forest High in Pensacola, Fla.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Former Tigers Whit Smith and Josh Weldon had to give up football for their senior seasons because of recurring injuries--Smith with a shoulder and Weldon with a knee. Both still play a big role in the everyday function of the athletic department though. Smith serves as the Auburn president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while Weldon is interning with the Event Management office of the athletic department.