The main competition for defensive tackle Ray Gant from Hargrave Military Academy is expected to come from the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Tennessee is also in the picture, too, for a player who visited Auburn this weekend.
Gant is a 6-4, 287-pounder who is actually a high school senior, but competes against postgraduates. He attends the prep school looking for stronger competition than he faced at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina, where he played one season. Prior to that, he played high school football in South Bend, Ind.
The Tigers are believed to have a solid shot at Gant and they have major needs on the defensive front. With uncertainty about DeMarco McNeil's injury status for 2002 after he underwent major knee surgery last week, the Tigers are looking to sign several defensive tackles who can come in and compete immediately.
One of the most talented players the Tigers are recruiting plans to make a visit to Auburn this coming weekend. LaRon Harris, a 6-3, 305-pounder with 4.8 speed from Memphis, Tenn., did not commit to Tennessee on his visit to Knoxville this weekend.
His mother told Inside the Auburn Tigers on Sunday night that UT pushed hard to get him to say yes and end recruiting there and then, but she says, "LaRon told them he definitely wants to take his Auburn visit and I am glad he is going to do that. He is looking forward to it."
Tiger Ticket Extra: The battle for Harris looks to be narrowing to a two-team race between the Tigers and Volunteers with hometown Memphis falling off the pace and the same is the case with Arkansas. Alabama has been trying hard to get a visit, but has had no luck. The same is true for other colleges. Harris says he had a great time at an Auburn football camp this summer and that is one reason he is seriously considering the Tigers...Re-signee Antwarn Franklin from Woodlawn High just missed qualifying on his latest college board test. He plans to keep taking the test and sign again on Feb. 6th. He originally signed with the Tigers last year but did not qualify academically. The 6-5, 310-pounder played both ways in high school. He prefers to get his shot at defense in college.