Tigers Pick Up 3rd Verbal For 2005 Signee Class

Ali Sharrief, one of the state of Alabama's top prospects, has verbally committed to Auburn.

Stevenson, Ala.--One of Alabama's top football prospects put an end to his recruiting early as North Jackson's Ali Sharrief gave a verbal commitment to be an Auburn Tiger on Monday, picking Auburn ahead of LSU, Georgia, Alabama and several other schools.

"I committed to Auburn today," Sharrief tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It just felt like home. It basically came down to Auburn, LSU and Alabama.

"I like it down there," he adds. "I like Auburn. It is close to home and it's a beautiful place. It's somewhere I would like to go to school."

A speedster on the field with his bullish 5-10, 194-pound frame, Sharrief has been a standout on both offense and defense for North Jackson since his freshman season. For his career Sharrief has rushed for 2,646 yards and 38 touchdowns on 380 carries and has 3,307 all-purpose yards and 47 touchdowns. He also has been a terror on defense from his linebacker spot because of his aggressive style at the point of attack.

Because of his success on both sides of the ball teams have been recruiting him as an athlete capable of playing almost anywhere on the field. Sharrief says that is exactly what Auburn is recruiting him as, a player that could play running back, linebacker, safety, or even cornerback on the next level. Still, Sharrief says he won't get concerned about where he plays on the Plains no matter where he winds up.

The North Jackson High Chief is a standout on both sides of the football.

"To be honest with you I'm just going to play it like it should be played," Sharrief says. "I'm not going to worry about it. Whatever happens, happens as far as positions go.

"I think I'm a better running back than I am anything else," Sharrief adds. "I like to run people over. I like that. It makes me feel good to make a defensive guy looks bad. That's what most backs like to do period is make defensive backs look bad. I like defense too. I like to make a running back look bad or a wide receiver."

Something that has Sharrief excited is the chance to join up again with former high school teammate and best friend Blake Shrader. The two have been friends since early on in Stevenson and will join together again along with former North Jackson Coach and current Auburn Director of High School and NFL operations Phillip Lolley.

Also a standout on the track, Sharrief won the 55 meter indoor title in both the 9th and 11th grade and finished third in his sophomore season.

Sharrief becomes Auburn's third public commitment for the class of 2005, joining offensive linemen Michael Harness from Columbus, Ga. and Oscar Gonzalez from Miami, Fla.

North Jackson High, coached by former Auburn player Mark Rose, is expected to have a team capable of challenging for a Class 4A state title. Going the distance is a primary concern for the rising senior.

"We let the people down last year," Sharrief says. "We didn't act right last year. We didn't have leadership. I, for one, wasn't being a leader. A couple of other people weren't being a leader. This year I plan to be a leader. I am trying to get closer to my teammates. We are doing a lot of stuff together."

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