Mississippi Fullback To Visit Tigers

A talented runner and blocker from one of the top schools in Mississippi talks about his recruitment and his interest in Auburn.

Waynesboro, Miss.--The Auburn Tigers will head into the 2004 season in good shape on the offensive side of the ball with experience and talent at most of the skill positions, but one spot they're looking for immediate help is at fullback. With senior Brandon Johnson gone and just Jake Slaughter left as a true fullback, the likelihood that a true freshman will get significant playing time is a good one. One of the players the Tigers are taking a long look at in the recruiting process is powerful Michael McLaughlin from Wayne County High.

A 6-1, 220-pounder with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash and the strength to run the ball inside and clear a path at the line of scrimmage, McLaughlin is comfortable with the ball in his hands. As a senior on a state championship team along with linebacker Steve Gandy and defensive end Cedric Jones, McLaughlin led the team in rushing with 1,560 yards on 200+ carries with 15 touchdowns. A two-year starter for a powerful Wayne County program, he rushed for 1,280 yards as a junior.

Mike McLaughlin

With numbers like those it's not surprising that many schools are in touch with the fullback to try to get him to visit their campus before making a decision on signing day. One thing that's different with McLaughlin though is that he has to find enough time while juggling a job at nights and on the weekends along with playing on the school basketball team. A busy person, McLaughlin says that he's hearing from several schools in the South and took his first official visit last weekend to see the home state Rebels..

"I'm hearing from Auburn and I went to Ole Miss last weekend," McLaughlin tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It was a good visit. I enjoyed myself. My player host was Lorenzo Townsend. I liked the way they treated me and how the people were. Everybody was themselves. You could tell it and I like that."

Although Gandy and Jones have both been to Auburn several times over the past few months, McLaughlin says that he's still trying to learn as much about the Tigers as he can in his spare time to give him a better understanding of the program.

"Because I'm always so busy I never get to watch college games so I don't really know too much about them. I've heard from them some and I talked to Coach Dunn (Don Dunn) this week." McLaughlin is scheduled to visit Auburn the weekend of the 23rd of January following a visit to Southern Miss this coming weekend. Originally he planned to visit Nebraska, but that has changed.

While he's visited Ole Miss and has trips set in the coming weeks McLaughlin says that he's a long way from making a decision and Auburn is one of the schools he's going to consider. "I don't have a favorite at the moment," McLaughlin says. "I'm pretty wide open."

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