Auburn Entertaining Bluechip Football Prospects

Tommy Tuberville and his staff hope to continue the momentum from a strong season and a strong start to putting together their 2005 signee class.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn is expecting to play host to a half dozen football prospects on official recruiting visits beginning Friday. The group is expected to feature some of the country's most highly regarded high school seniors.

Players who are scheduled to visit include big offensive lineman Simon Codrington from South Miami High School in Miami, Fla., dynamic running back Antone Smith from Pahokee High in Pahokee, Fla., powerful defensive lineman Jerrell Powe from Wayne County High in Wayne County, Miss., tenacious defensive back Jerraud Powers from Decatur High in Decatur, Ala., talented defensive lineman Dan Williams from Memphis East High in Memphis, Tenn., and late-blooming wide receiver Richard Goodman from St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Another prospect scheduled to vist, kicker Ryan Succop from Hickory, N.C., High School, won't be making the trip this weekend and it is uncertain if the Tigers will bring him or any other kickers in for official visits with scholarship numbers getting tight. Avery Atkins, a defensive back from Daytona Beach, Fla., had scheduled a visit to Auburn this weekend, but is headed to Miami instead. He had early verbally committed to Florida and is scheduled to visit the Gators Jan. 21.

Codrington is a big lineman with a great frame and plenty of athletic ability. The 6-7, 260-pounder, who is currently playing basketball at South Miami, says he is is deciding between Auburn, Florida State, North Carolina State, Florida and West Virginia.

Simon Codrington

The All-Dade County selection says that academics and the atmosphere will play a big role in his final decision."Academics are kind of important, and I'm not too much worried about playing time," he says. "I'll just work my butt off and get as good as I can possibly be. The most important thing is player environment and where I feel the most comfortable at. Where I feel the most comfortable at is where I'm going to go."

One of the most highly touted recruits in the group is Smith. Rated the second best tailback in the country by, Smith is a 5-8, 185-pound back with speed to burn, great vision, good balance and superb cutting ability.

The talented running back, who notes that he is looking at Auburn, Miami, LSU, Georgia, Florida State and Ohio State, says The Tigers' balanced offense is one reason he is taking such a long look at Coach Tommy Tuberville's program.

Antone Smith

"It hasn't impressed me a little bit, it has impressed me a lot," Smith explains about the Auburn offense. "The mixture of things they do with the running backs out of the backfield, they have got them doing special teams. I mean that is big and then they feature two backs in the backfield so that is always a plus because you don't ever know who is going to get the ball. You have got two dual threats back there."

Another extremely talented prospect who is scheduled to be among the visitors is the nation's top-ranked defensive tackle. A 6-3, 322-pounder, Powe is an unusually impressive physical specimen for his age. He has plenty of power to blow offensive lineman off the ball, size to take on a double team or even triple team in high school and unusual quickness off the ball for his size.

Jerrell Powe (right) talks with his former teammate, Mike McLaughlin (left) on the Auburn practice field.

The huge lineman, who says he is interested in Texas A&M, Ole Miss, LSU and Nebraska along with Auburn, has two former teammates who are current members of the Tigers' team in freshman safety Steve Gandy and freshman fullback Mike McLaughlin. Because of that the senior notes that he is already familiar with the Auburn program.

"I think I have been to the Auburn campus at least 12 times," he says. "Even though I have been there a lot and it won't be anything new to me, I am looking forward to the visit. I think I was there for at least five games this season, including the LSU and Georgia games."

Powers is a player that is trying to make his college decision before Christmas and his final visit, which will be to the Plains, will likely go a long way in helping the 5-9, 185-pound defensive back choose between Auburn and Alabama, where he visited on December 10th.

Jerraud Powers

The talented corner all but narrowed his choices to the Tide and Tigers early on in the recruiting process, and has been trying to put some distance between the two programs ever since. Powers helped lead his Decatur team to a 9-3 record as a senior and recorded 46 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles as a junior.

Williams is big defensive tackle from the state of Tennessee where Auburn has had quite a bit of good recruiting success over the past few years. At 6-4, 320 pounds, Williams has plenty of the size combined with quickness that college coaches across the country are desperately searching for to play on the defensive front.

The Memphis East standout says that his four finalists are Auburn and Tennessee along with Memphis and Mississippi State, which he has already visited. Williams notes that Auburn's success this season is a big reason the Tigers made his short list. "One of the reasons I am interested in Auburn is that they are in the SEC," he says. "Most likely I will be playing at an SEC school and I am interested in Auburn because they just won the SEC Championship."

Tennessee just received a commitment from his friend and teammate, offensive lineman Malcolm Rawls. The pair of players have talked extensively about going to college together and that makes the Vols the team to beat for Williams. Auburn did not recruit Rawls.

Goodman is a wide receiver who is a bit of a late bloomer on the recruiting circuit. Most of the top prospects in the country usually emerge as juniors. However, the 6-1, 175-pound speedster from Fort Lauderdale burst onto the scene as a senior, which was his first year as a starter, by helping his St. Thomas Aquinas team advance to the Florida state championship game. He transferred to St. Thomas from Dillard of Fort Lauderdale.

Richard Goodman

The talented prospect, who says that he is looking at Auburn, Florida, N.C. State and Purdue, excelled as both a receiver and a return man this season. At receiver, Goodman caught 40 passes for 501 yards and seven touchdowns. And as a return man he added over 700 yards and three scores, which included an 89-yard kickoff return for a TD.

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