Charles Mullen, a 6-4 1/2, 235-pound tight end and defensive lineman from Madison High School, has signed scholarship papers to play for the Tigers.
"I signed with Auburn and I am working on getting stronger and faster this spring," Mullen tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I want to build more muscle and I want to get faster. Right now, I weigh 235 pounds and I want to add five or 10 more pounds before I get to Auburn. The Auburn coaches want me to play at around 245."
Auburn became interested in Mullen late in the recruiting process when the Tigers lost tight end verbal commitment Darrell Strong to the University of Pittsburgh on signing day when Strong decided he wanted to be a quarterback and the Panthers offered him the chance to play that position.
Mullen flew under the recruiting radar for Auburn and most other colleges until very late after transferring schools between his junior and senior years and then fracturing his fibula early in his senior season. However, he made a comeback late in the season and played well. He began receiving interest from colleges after his coaches sent out video of Mullen in action. After AU coaches saw video of the athlete from San Diego, they brought him to campus for an official visit and then made the Californian their 27th signee.
Mullen planned to take some other recruiting visits, but decided Auburn is a good pick for him with its need at linebacker and a strong academic reputation.
An honor student with a qualifying college board entrance exam score, Mullen should have no problem getting through the NCAA Clearinghouse to gain his freshman eligibility.
Some of AU's 2004 signees are expected to come to Auburn early in the summer and get a head start working out with their future teammates. Mullen says he isn't sure when he will report to the AU campus. "That is something that I have to discuss with my family," he says.
As a junior at Lincoln High School, Mullen spent most of his time on the defensive front. In his final game there he had five quarterback sacks and earned second team all-conference honors as a junior. However, Lincoln was closed for remodeling and he transferred to Madison High where he quickly earned a starting job at tight end and also earned the respect of his teammates and coaching staff who named him the team's most inspirational leader.
"I just don't like to lose," Mullen says. "I am always cheering on my teammates when we play games. Not one person can win a football game by himself. It is a team effort. I was always encouraging my teammates and telling them, ‘Don't quit.' I did that on the field and on the sidelines, wherever I was at."
Mullen has played linebacker, too, but is projected to be a tight end at Auburn. He also plays baseball, but has decided to concentrate on hitting the weight room this spring to get ready for AU so baseball is out this spring.
"I see him as a tight end on the college level," says Madison High coach Steven Minor, who notes that Mullen runs a 4.8 40. "He was at Lincoln High School last year and they closed down to refurbish the whole school. He came to our school this year as a new student and a new player to our program. He fit in absolutely fantastically. He's really done a great job.
"In my opinion, and I have been coaching high school football for 32 years, he's a real good prospect," Minor says. "I think he's going to be a fine tight end. He's got really good hands."
Minor says the Tigers are adding a quality person to their football program. "He's just a great kid," the coach notes. "He comes from a great family. His father is a minister. His mom is great. He's just a great kid."