One Of Alabama's Top Football Prospects Picks AU

Auburn added some offensive firepower for the future with this in-state verbal.

Pelham, Ala.–-Auburn picked up its eighth football verbal commitment for the class of 2005 from one of the top offensive prospects in Alabama Tuesday night when wide receiver Montez Billings called Coach Tommy Tuberville and his staff to inform them of his decision.

A speedster that can run with anyone on the field, the 6-3, 170 Billings had offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Clemson and dozens of other schools, but says that Auburn was the school for him and always has been.

"I called them tonight and told them," Billings tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I have been liking Auburn all of my life. They've been on top of my list since last year. I like everything about them. I like everything they do. Now they're throwing the ball a lot and I really like that."

Montez Billings

Recruited for the Tigers by defensive ends coach Terry Price, Billings says that Auburn's coaching staff is one he's anxious to play for and especially his future position coach Greg Knox.

"Coach Price is real cool," Billings says. "He's real easy to talk to. I like Coach Knox. He seems like he's a real good coach and he's exciting and aggressive."

A visitor to both Auburn and Alabama for games this fall, Billings says that his trip to the Plains for the LSU game really sealed the deal as far as he was concerned.

"I came to the LSU game," Billings says. "It was real exciting. That was the best game I've ever been to. It made me want to play there."

Despite the Panthers being just 4-5 on the season and running the ball most of the time, Billings has still been able to put up some impressive numbers although being double-teamed by everyone. With one game left he has 43 catches for 550 yards and six touchdowns. His best game this season came against top-ranked Hoover when he caught three passes for 80 yards and had over 100 yards rushing on two reverses. Billings also returns kickoffs for Pelham.

"My speed and my good hands are my strengths," says Billings, who is rated as the state's No. 2 prospect by the Birmingham News. "This season I wanted to get better and being more aggressive on the field. I just want to go get the ball instead of just waiting for it."

Billings is working on becoming an academic qualifier. He is considered to have a solid chance to gain freshman eligibility, but still has progress to make.

A standout for the Panthers on the basketball court and track, Billings is one of the top performers in the Birmingham area as a sprinter for Pelham. His best times in the 100 meters is a 10.5 while he has run a 21.74 in the 200 meters. He averaged eight points and 10 rebounds in basketball.

Unlike most players, Billings says that he's unlikely to take visits to Alabama and Georgia before signing day. Essentially Auburn's from the beginning, Billings says that unless something major happens he's done.

"This is pretty much it," Billings says. "I'm probably not going anywhere else."

Billings joins cornerback Aairon Savage, linebacker Rex Sharpe, offensive linemen Oscar Gonzalez and Michael Harness, safety/linebacker Patrick Trahan, tight end Andrew McCain and athlete Ali Sharrief as Auburn's commitments to this point.

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Scott Kennedy of Scout.com, a recruiting analyst for the SEC region, says, "Montez is tall and fast and the kind of big wide receiver we see college teams going after. I think he'll be an outside guy that will stretch the field."

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg says, "Billings is a raw receiver with lots of upside. He has size and speed and shows great balance and elusiveness after the catch with the ball in his hands. Billings can also catch the ball in traffic. This is a nice pickup for Auburn."


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