Seante Williams, a 6-5, 265-pound defensive end from Pensacola, Fla., is not going to play for the Tigers due to academics. Although he has graduated from the Kansas junior college where he was placed by the Tigers after signing with AU in February 2000, he did not have an adequate grade point average to be accepted for admission at Auburn. Williams redshirted one season at Coffeyville Community College and would have had three full seasons of eligibility. He is expected to sign with another college.
Williams was expected to enroll at Auburn this week and participate in winter workouts. However, that isn't going to happen, but it did open a spot for another recruit to join the program and the Tigers are adding a Virginian--6-0, 192-pound Karibi Dede.
Karibi Dede played a variety of positions in high school on a very successful team. He is expected to be a safety at Auburn.
Dede played his high school ball at northern Virginia powerhouse Hylton High where he saw action at a variety of positions--running back, fullback, safety, defensive end, outside linebacker and cornerback. He is expected to be a safety at Auburn. AU is looking for some added depth in the secondary with reserve Ronaldo Attimy deciding to return home to New York for personal family reasons and not come for his senior season.
"New Year's Eve I got a call from Coach (John) Lovett and he said there was a good possibility that they would get me down to Auburn on a recruiting visit," Dede says. "If things went well, they would be able to get me in. I think my mom talked to him sometime later that day or the next day and my mom told me they wanted to get me down there on a visit so I headed back to Hargrave because I had to take my visit from Hargrave.
"The way things worked out, by the NCAA rules, if they had flown me to Auburn they would have had to fly me back to Virginia and I would have had to drive back to Auburn. I just made the decision that Auburn was the place for me, packed my bags and headed there and haven't looked back since."
He left his home in Dumfries, Va., on Wednesday and arrived in Auburn on Friday after two days of driving through snowstorms. He then met with academic counselors and admissions officials, who accepted him to attend AU on Friday. After that he moved into Sewell Hall, his dorm. He will participate in winter workouts under the direction of Kevin Yoxall and will participate in spring practice as a true freshman.
He was a two-year starter at C.E. Hylton High and played a good bit as a pass rushing defensive end as a sophomore reserve. He played on two undefeated state championship teams, one which was ranked 13th in the nation by USA Today. He played in just two losing games and participated in 40 victories.
"In my senior year, we made it to the state semi-finals," he says. "We were hampered by a lot of injuries," he says, noting that the team finished the season with the third string quarterback having to play after the other two QBs were lost for the year with injuries. "That was a little bit hectic, but it was fun and we accomplished a lot. We really wanted to make another state championship run, but with our injuries it was tough.
"The thing I will probably remember most is that our 39-game winning streak got broken my senior year," he adds. "A team from our area broke it on our homecoming night. If we would have won that game, we would have been tied with Hampton, a team who was ranked number one in the nation about four years ago, for the longest ever winning streak in Virginia. It was disappointing, but it was a success. After the season, my coach (Bill Brown) was inducted into the Virginia state high school football league hall of fame."
As a senior, he and two other running backs shared playing time. He rushed for 431 yards and caught 12 passes for 400-plus yards. He scored 20 touchdowns, including one on a blocked punt. He blocked three punts, blocked three field goals, had four sacks, intercepted one pass and had 60 tackles. He started the year playing safety, but moved to outside linebacker when the team's top LB was lost with an injury. He also played a game at cornerback his senior season specifically to shut down a particular wide receiver, which he did.
"At Hargrave, I played strong safety," Dede says. "I walked up in the box a lot."
Dede says he wants to work on improving his strength as a freshman at Auburn. He says he usually works out in the range of 250 to 275 pounds. "I think I can improve that fairly quickly after I get in the program. I also want to work on my speed because that is a very important part of football." He was clocked at under well under 4.5 in a hand-timed 40-yard dash at Hargrave, which is something that attracted the attention of former defensive coordinator Lovett.
The defensive back says his dream is to play in the National Football League, but adds, "I know realistically that only so many make it to the next level. If I can't play after college, I want to coach football. I am aiming to get a degree in education, probably in mathematics, because I know the country has a shortage of math teachers.
"My first couple of years in high school I didn't do too well, but my senior year my grade point average was 3.6 or 3.8. Once I realized that college football was what I wanted to do, I knew I had to get my grades up and I punched it. I made all A's and B's my senior year. Because I was a late qualifier, it pushed me to Hargrave after a lot of schools backed away from me. At Hargrave, I bumped my SAT from a 970 to a 1060. I am going to keep pushing myself academically."
A late qualifier out of high school, he turned down an offer from James Madison and other lower profile colleges so he could attend Hargrave and try to improve his stock and get an offer from a major college. Until hearing from the Tigers on New Year's Eve, his firm scholarship offers were from MAC schools Kent State, Ohio University and Bowling Green and other lower-profile colleges like the home-state Richmond Spiders. "I had talked to Ohio State and a couple of others, but the offers weren't on the table," Dede says. "I expected to go back to Hargrave and see who else would offer and then sign in February. When I got the call from Auburn, that put things in motion pretty quickly."
Although Hargrave struggled on the football field this past fall, the experience was beneficial to the Auburn recruit. "Our season went all right," Dede says. "Our defense played well as a unit. It helped me. I played around a lot of good players. A couple are going to Georgia and a defensive end, Forrest Tucker, who committed to go to Auburn last year, was on our team. I learned a lot from Coach (Lonnie) Messick."
Tiger Ticket Extra: Dede anticipates playing with another friend from Hargrave, Anthony Mix, who is still trying to qualify. The wide receiver from Baldwin County High in Bay Minette, Ala., signed with Auburn last February, re-signed in December and is expected to sign again in February. "Anthony is a good player," he says. "We were good friends at prep school. He hurt his wrist and it kind of sidelined him for our season, but I can tell he is good. After he got his cast off we threw the ball around and after the season was over we played a lot of seven on seven. That guy is a player. He can move, he can jump, he has good hands."...In December, the Tigers also re-signed defensive and offensive lineman Antwarn Franklin from Woodlawn High in Birmingham. Franklin elected not to go the prep school route after signing with AU last year and not qualifying. He has been taking the college board tests and living at home. "I have been working out at the recreation center near my house and I am in pretty good shape," says Franklin, who adds that he is currently 6-5, 305 pounds. He still has a test score he is waiting to receive and is hopeful that he can enroll for second semester classes at Auburn next week. "I am waiting for a call from (AU defensive ends coach) Terry Price telling me that I am eligible," he says. If Franklin does not qualify in time to enroll for the second semester, which starts on Tuesday, he is expected to sign again on February 6th. It would be a big plus for Franklin to get into the offseason workout program as well as spring training.
Forrest Tucker, who is from Lillington, N.C., is scheduled to sign again with Auburn in February. He needs to finish classwork this spring before qualifying to report to Auburn, which he plans to do in August...Dede's older brother, Soso, is a college football player, too. He is a running back at Indiana State...Dede had several strong games at Hargrave. In a 39-34 win over the Naval Academy junior varsity team, he intercepted a pass and had a big special teams play, which is his trademark. He returned an extra-point attempt 97 yards for a two-point conversion. "I have always blocked a lot of kicks and punts and messed up a lot of field goals and extra points," he says. Later in the season he recovered two fumbles in a loss to Catawba College.