In recent weeks, the six-foot-nine, 250-pounder has been able to concentrate on school work and basketball. He is doing very well in both areas. Bruce is expected to graduate with honors from Pepperell High School. He is also showing his prowess on the hardwood, averaging 15 points and almost the same number of rebounds per game.
"We are starting to get on a roll now in basketball," the big tight end tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "We have won our last three games by about 30 points. Hopefully, we can keep the streak going. We are about 10-5--something like that.
"Right now I am concentrating on basketball, my studies and gaining weight. Over the Christmas holidays I didn't get a chance to lift that much. I did some pushups and stuff. I didn't have a chance to get to a gym. I weigh around 250 now. I want to weigh 260 and I think I can do that if I eat right."
Justin Bruce has an interesting combination of size and speed.
Bruce made his decision to become a Tiger last fall and says he has no regrets about committing early, even though players who are later in announcing their picks inevitably garner more attention from recruiting fans.
"Going ahead and committing has been a big burden being lifted off of me," he says. "When I was undecided, I couldn't concentrate on anything. People were always asking, ‘Where are you going? Where are you going?' Once I decided, I was able to focus on football and school."
He says the calls from other colleges have now just about ended.
After he finishes basketball season but before he heads off to college, Bruce has one more high school sports season awaiting. Last year, as a novice hurdler on the track team, he was impressive in the hard to master 100-meters event. "I got fourth in the region in the 110s and then we got down to the region meet and we didn't have anybody to run the 300 (hurdles)," Bruce says. "I had never run it before and I got fourth in the region in that, too. I crossed the finish line and fell on my face."
While Bruce knows where he will be attending college, this week's trip to Auburn is more than just a social call. He is still trying to decide on his collegiate major. "I am not really sure yet," he says. "Maybe sports medicine or something along that line. Hopefully, I will figure that out when I go down there. That is kind of a starting point."
Tiger Ticket Extra: Bruce caught 25 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. In spot duty at defensive end, mostly in pass rushing situations, he added 20 tackles and four quarterback sacks. His team struggled to a 4-6 mark. We didn't have a good year," the tight end says...Another tight end/basketball player who is headed to Auburn, Lawrence Lilly of Montevallo High, is also having a good season. On Wednesday night he was entertaining a visit from head coach Tommy Tuberville plus Terry Price, who recruits the Birmingham area. Lilly says that the coaches were making a swing through the Birmingham area to touch base with him and Hewitt-Trussville High stars Brandon Cox and Lee Guess...
Wide receiver Ben Obomanu from Selma High, who was on campus last weekend for an official visit, is taking two official visits this week. He is currently at Alabama, which is a school that he has been considering since last spring. He is planning to head north to Notre Dame, which is a new name in this recruiting battle. Florida appeared to be Auburn's major competition for this talented player, however, without Steve Spurrier in Gainesville the Gators are not believed to be a major threat...Loachapoka star Montae Pitts committed to Auburn last Sunday during a meeting with head coach Tommy Tuberville. Pitts, who had originally committed to Virginia Tech last spring and who had announced several different favorites throughout his recruiting process, reaffirmed on Thursday that his commitment to the Tigers is strong and that he will play for AU this season.