The Mother Of All Recruiting Road Trips

This standout from Mississippi talks about his visit to Auburn over the weekend and the long days that followed.

When Wayne County High School fullback Michael McLaughlin and his mother left their home in Waynesboro, Miss., for Auburn last Friday for an official visit little did they know they were embarking on a recruiting trip of epic proportions.

With a visit scheduled for Nebraska on Monday they were going to leave Auburn and drive straight for Lincoln. Two days, 19 hours of driving and piles of snow later they finally arrived in the state of Nebraska and McLaughlin said that he's just happy to be off the road.

"We left Auburn on Sunday, but we finally made it," McLaughlin told Inside The Auburn Tigers. "We spent the night somewhere on Sunday and we've been on the road about 19 or 20 hours. I'm happy that is over." His official visit at Nebraska will now get started on Tuesday.

McLaughlin and his mother plowed through some blinding snow and dangerous road conditions that prompted warnings from government officials in the area. The warning notes that wind chill factors could drop to 25 degrees below zero and that there was a foot of snow on the groud in the Lincoln area. The warning also notes that travel isn't easy: "Travel on untreated roads will be hazardous or impossible. If you must travel... keep a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle. This should include an extra flashlight... food... and water in case you become stranded."

Michael McLaughlin

After taking visits to both Ole Miss and Southern Miss, the 6-1, 220 McLaughlin finally got time away from his busy schedule of basketball and working to make a trip to Auburn last weekend. He says the visit went very well and he really liked what the Tigers had to show him.

"It was pretty straight," McLaughlin said. "I enjoyed myself. I was hosted by quarterback Jason Campbell and Tim Duckworth. They were really straight. I would give my visit a nine."

Saying everything stood out to him on his visit, McLaughlin notes that he kind of knew what to expect by talking with teammate Steve Gandy. "He told me about Auburn and what it was like," McLaughlin said. "My Auburn visit was better than my others (Ole Miss and Southern Miss) and Auburn is my leader right now."

While he has interest from several other schools in the South, McLaughlin says emphatically that Nebraska will be his final visit. After what he's been through this weekend who can blame him. He expects to make a decision on signing day among the four collges where he took his official four visits.

A bruiser 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 Gandy and defensive end Cedric Jones, McLaughlin led the team in rushing with 1,560 yards on 200-plus carries with 15 touchdowns. A two-year starter for a powerful Wayne County program, he rushed for 1,280 yards as a junior.


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