With this being a really down year for in-state defensive line prospects, Tommy Tuberville and his staff have been looking in other areas to fill their needs. One of the biggest of the prospects they are looking at says he has a pretty big interest in the Tigers, however, he notes it is too early to name a favorite.
"I am interested in Auburn," says Dan Williams, a 6-4, 320-pound interior defensive lineman from Memphis East High. "It is a good interest, but I wouldn't say it is higher than the other schools I am looking at it. I would say it is about the same."
Williams tells Inside the Auburn Tigers that he plans to be on the Auburn campus for the first time later this month. "I am coming to Auburn for an official visit on 17th," he says. "I have already had two visits to Mississippi State and Memphis. I will go to the University of Tennessee on the 14th of January." He also has offers from colleges such as Arkansas, Clemson, Missouri and others, but is not planning to visit any other colleges than his four finalists.
As a senior for a 6-5 team, he was a productive defender. "I had 88 solo tackles, 44 assists, about seven sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries," Williams says. He was in on 85 tackles as a junior.
With the exception of hometown Memphis, the colleges he is seriously considering are in the Southeastern Conference and that is not a coincidence. "One of the reasons I am interested in Auburn is that they are in the SEC," Williams says. "Most likely I will be playing at an SEC school and I am interested in Auburn because they just won the SEC Championship."
AU defensive ends coach Terry Price recruits the Memphis area and talks regularly with the big lineman. "Coach Price is a really nice guy," Williams says. "He is up-tempo and he sounds excited about me."
Auburn and the other colleges he is looking at are recruiting Williams as a defensive lineman. "I am a tackle and a nose," Williams notes. "I will probably play both in college. My best position is defensive tackle and Auburn is recruiting me as a defensive tackle."
A preseason All-State pick after winning defensive line MVP honors on his team as a junior, Williams was recently named to the Memphis All-Metro team. He has one more sports season left in high school before moving on to college. He threw the shot 49-8 as a junior and the discus 145 and will be looking to improve on those marks this spring.
Williams says that he wants to major in sports management in college and that he is in good shape academically with a better than 3.0 core grade point average and a qualifying ACT score.
Although not as fast as some defensive linemen in the 40 with a best time of 5.19 in the 40, Williams says his quickness is one of his best attributes and one of the reasons college coaches call him regularly.
"My favorite NFL player is Warren Sapp because he plays well in the big games and he is fast off the ball," Williams says. "I try to be quick like he is. I know Coach Tuberville at Auburn coached him at the University of Miami."