Tigers Finish With A Flourish On Signing Day

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn has signed a large and impressive group of football prospects with 28 players signing scholarship papers on Wednesday to play for the Tigers.

Auburn is in line to pick up heavily recruited prospects throughout its offense and defense.

Tommy Tuberville and his coaching staff are looking for immediate help at the wide receiver spots. The Monday commitment of the state's only Parade All-American, Selma High Saint Benjamin Obomanu, is considered another major boost to the 2002 class.

The other major need on offense is for linemen. Auburn graduated senior starters Kendall Simmons and Mike Pucillo, a pair of players expected to be taken in the NFL draft, along with two-year starter Hart McGarry.

Three of the top offensive line prospects in the South signed with the Tigers on Wednesday morning. That group includes Jonathon Palmer of Cedar Grove High in Ellenwood, Ga., and his football/basketball teammate Marcus McNeill, who has been one of the more heavily recruited prospects in the Southeast. Palmer has also attracted attention from colleges around the country as has Troy Reddick of Westover High in Albany, Ga. He announced his pick at a Wednesday morning signing ceremony from a list that included Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida.

Defensively, the most urgent needs are on the line of scrimmage where the Tigers received a big commitment from Opelika High star Tommy "T.J." Jackson, the state's top defensive tackle prospect. He signed on Wednesdayalong with his talented teammate, safety/quarterback Will Herring.

Opelika stars Will Herring (left) and T.J. Jackson (right) are shown with their coach, Spence McCracken.

Auburn graduated starting ends Javor Mills and James Callier plus top backup Alton Moore after the 2001 season. Another end who graduated, Whit Smith, was a returning starter who was not able to play last fall after having shoulder surgery so the DE cupboard at Auburn definitely needs restocking. The only returnee with any significant playing experience is Reggie Torbor.

A promising group of verbal commitments will have a chance for early playing time if they follow through with their plans today to sign with the Tigers. The group includes: Kyle Derozan of Point Coupee Catholic in Morganza, La.; Timmy Duckworth of Taylorsville, Miss., High; Ben Grubbs of Elmore County High in Eclectic and Doug Morris from Woodham High in Pensacola, Fla.

Quarterback Brandon Cox was a prolific passer for Hewitt-Trussville High School.

Among the key early Auburn commitments were several of the state of Alabama's top prospects such as 6-3, 190 quarterback Brandon Cox, who was named Mr. Football, and perhaps the best all-around athlete in the state this year--Loachapoka's do-it-all Montae Pitts. Pitts, who set a Capital City Combine record for the fastest 40-yard dash ever run at the event with a hand-timed 4.29, is a speedster who is also outstanding in basketball, baseball and track.

The dymanic passing duo of Cox and Guess were early Tiger signees. They got their paperwork into the Auburn coaches by fax just after 8 a.m., which marked the start of signing day. The in-state haul also includes talented Benjamin Russell High linebacker Tyrone Martin, who was recruited by out-of-region teams such as Notre Dame and Nebraska before picking the Tigers over Florida. Martin led his Alexander City team to the Class 5A state title with a tremendous senior season.

The Tigers have done extremely well in securing highly regarded out-of-state talent. Players who had big senior seasons include running back Tre Smith of Venice, Fla., High, defensive back Caviri Dailey from Plantation, Fla., High, defensive back Brandon Williams from Shaw High in Columbus, Ga., tight end Justin Bruce from Pepperell High in Lindale, Ga., linebacker Kevis Burnam from Macon County High in Montezuma, Ga.

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Talented Tyrone Martin picked the Tigers over Florida and others.

Auburn signees include:

Devin Aromashodu

WR, 6-2, 185

Miami Springs, FL (Miami Springs)

High School Coach: Buddy Goins

HIGH SCHOOL: Caught 17 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 372 yards and four touchdowns as a senior ....Also played defense and totaled 45 tackles and one interception as a free safety ... Caught 29 passes for 620 yards and seven touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as a junior ... Also totaled six interceptions .... Played in the CaliFlorida Bowl ... Played in the Dade-Broward All-Star Game ...Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100 ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 ... Florida Times Union Super 75 ... Ranked as the nation's eighth best wide receiver by Rivals100.com ... Ranked as one of the top 15 players in Florida by SuperPrep Magazine ... SuperPrep Magazine All-American ... Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Southeast selection ...Prep Star All-American ...All-county selection ... Also played basketball and competed in track in high school ... PERSONAL: Full name is Gbolahan Devin Aromashodu ... Son of Inkey and Dorothy Aromashodu ... Born May 23, 1984.


Troy Bergeron

DB, 6-2, 180

Columbus, GA (Shaw)

High School Coach: Charles Flowers

HIGH SCHOOL: Played primarily safety and wide receiver ... Finished with 31 receptions for 586 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior ... Missed three games as a senior ... Had 25 receptions for 496 yards and six touchdowns as a junior ... Three-year starter ... Columbus Ledger Enquirer All-Bi-City Team selection ... Competed in track and as a junior was third in the 400m and sixth in the 200m in the 4A state meet .... Two-time all-area selection in track ...Named to the Honor Roll all four years ... PERSONAL: Played at same high school as Auburn's Antarrious Williams and fellow signee Brandon Williams... Full name is Troy Joseph Bergeron ... Son of Lisa and Troy Bergeron ... Born December 3, 1983.


Justin Bruce

TE, 6-8, 250

Lindale, GA (Pepperell)

High School Coach: Lynn Hunnicutt

High School: Caught 28 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns as a senior ... Also played defense and finished with 20 tackles and four sacks ... Caught 16 passes for 260 yards as a junior... Two-time Rome News Tribune All-Area Team selection... Ranked one of the top 50 players in Georgia by SuperPrep Magazine ... Ranked one of the top 10 tight ends in the country by ESPN.com ... Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Southeast selection ... One of the top 12 tight ends in the nation according to Rivals100.com ... Georgia 3A All-State selection ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Georgia Top 50 ... Prep Star All-Region selection ... Four-year starter ... Also plays basketball and has been a four-year starter at center...Averaging a double-double as a senior ....Also competed in track ... PERSONAL: Son of David and Cathy Bruce .... Born April 6, 1984.


Kevis Burnam

LB, 6-2, 226

Montezuma, GA (Macon County)

High School Coach: Tony Byram

HIGH SCHOOL: Finished senior season with 150 tackles, seven sacks, and two interceptions including one he returned 75 yards for a touchdown ....As a receiver, caught 15 passes for 105 yards ... Also returned kicks and punts and had two punt returns for touchdowns ...As a junior, totaled 90 tackles and five sacks ...During high school career, played linebacker, wide receiver, tailback and tight end ... Team Captain as a junior and senior ... Georgia Class 2A All-State selection ...First-Team All-Middle Georgia ... All-area Defensive Player of the Year ... Prep Star All-American ... Ranked one of the top 10 linebackers in the southeast by Prep Star Magazine... SuperPrep Magazine All-Dixie selection ... Also played basketball, baseball, tennis and competed in track in high school ...PERSONAL: Full name is Kevis Tramaine Burnam ... Born January 28, 1984 ... Son of Rhunette Burnam.


Brandon Cox

QB, 6-3, 190

Trussville, AL (Hewitt-Trussville)

High School Coach: Jack Wood

HIGH SCHOOL: As a senior, completed 233-of-329 passes (70.8%) for 2,887 yards and 27 touchdowns ... Completion percentage of 70.8 was a Class 6A state record ... During career, completed 424-of-617 passes (68.7%) for 5,417 yards and 50 touchdowns ...Set a state record with career .687 completion percentage ... Named the Class 6A Back of the Year by Alabama Sports Writers Association ...ASWA all-state selection ... Birmingham News Super All-State and Class 6A all-state selection ....Birmingham News Metro Player of the Year ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... Four-year starter ... Ranked one of the top 10 pro-style quarterbacks in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Southeast Team ... Max Emfinger All-American ... Ranked one of the top 20 quarterbacks in the nation by ESPN.com ... SuperPrep Magazine All-American ... Ranked one of the top five players in the state of Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ...Prep Star All-American .... Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 ... Also played basketball and baseball and was a second-team All-State selection as a pitcher ... PERSONAL: Son of Terry Cox and Debbie Bouler ... Born October 31, 1983.


Cavari Dailey

DB, 6-1, 195

Plantation, FL (Plantation)

High School Coach: Frank Hepler

HIGH SCHOOL: Totaled 115 tackles and three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns as a senior ... Finished with 140 tackles, 12 broken up passes, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries as a junior ... Four-year starter ... Played in the Broward-Dade All-Star Game ... Florida Sports Writers Class 6A All-State First-Team selection .... Named to the all-area team ... Rated one of the top 75 players in the state of Florida by SuperPrep Magazine ... Prep Star Honorable Mention All-Region selection ... PERSONAL: Son of Psalms and Carl Dailey .... Born October 30, 1982.


Kyle Derozan

L, 6-5, 225

Morganza, LA ( Pointe Coupee Central)

High School Coach: Harry Wright

HIGH SCHOOL: Finished with 65 tackles, 22 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, six fumble recoveries, one blocked punt and seven forced fumbles as a senior ... Returned one fumble and blocked punt for a touchdown ... Four-year starter ... Also played tight end and fullback ... First-team all-district and Baton Rouge All-metro selection ... Three-year starter on basketball team ...Also competes in track in the triple jump, long jump, high jump and shot put ... PERSONAL: Full name is Kyle Stanley Derozan ... Born September 20, 1984 ... Son of Elaine Carson and Al Derozan.


Tim Duckworth

L, 6-4, 292

Taylorsville, MS (Taylorsville)

High School Coach: Shannon White

HIGH SCHOOL: Played both offensive and defensive line ... As a senior, tallied 52 tackles, seven sacks, two fumble recoveries and caused a fumble ... Also registered more than 30 pancakes on offense ... Four-year starter on offensive line ...Clarion-Ledger All-State selection ... Orlando Sentinel All-Southern Team Honorable Mention ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 ... CNNSI.com and The Insiders Top 101 ... SuperPrep Magazine All-American ... Prep Star All-American ... Ranked as one of the top 15 offensive linemen in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Also plays center on basketball team ... PERSONAL: Played at same high school as Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell ... Son of Dorthy and Charles Duckworth ... Born September 14, 1982.


Antwarn Franklin

L, 6-5, 290

Birmingham, AL (Woodlawn)

High School Coach: Roderick Isaac


Re-signed with Auburn ... HIGH SCHOOL: Finished 2000 season with 90 tackles and seven sacks ... Played offensive and defensive line in high school ... Class 6A all-state first-team as an offensive lineman ... Birmingham News Super All-State Team ... PrepStar All-American ... Ranked the No. 4 defensive lineman in the southeast by PrepStar ... Ranked as one of the top 25 defensive linemen in the nation by Tom Lemming ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... Rivals.com All-Region ... Ranked as one of the top 50 defensive linemen in the nation by Rivals.com ...PERSONAL: Born June 22, 1983 ... Son of Benjamin and Mary Franklin.


Michael Gibson

P, 6-2, 195

Mooreville, MS (Mooreville)

High School Coach: Michael Bradley

HIGH SCHOOL: Averaged 46.5 yards per punt as a senior and 44.7 yards as a junior ... Also kicked and sent 50 percent of kickoffs into end zone and connected on four-of-eight field goals ... Played quarterback in last five games of senior season, leading team to four wins and a berth in the Class 2A playoffs ... Completed over 50 percent of passes for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns ... Two-time All-State selection ... PERSONAL: Full name is Michael Lee Gibson ... Born October 13, 1983 ... Son of Mike and Margaret Gibson.


Ben Grubbs

L, 6-4, 251

Eclectic, AL (Elmore County)

High School Coach: Travis Pearson

HIGH SCHOOL: Registered 150 tackles and six sacks and an interception as a senior ... Also played fullback, rushing for 130 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 50 yards... Totaled 110 tackles, four sacks and an interception as a junior ... Four-year starter ... Ranked as one of the top 10 players in the state of Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ... SuperPrep All-American ... Alabama Sports Writers Class 4A All-State selection as an offensive lineman ....All-county and all-metro selection as a linebacker ... Prep Star All-Region selection ...Four-year starter on the basketball team ... PERSONAL: Full name is Benjamin Richard Grubbs ... Born March 10, 1984 .... Son of Deborah Grubbs.


Lee Guess

ATH, 6-0, 175

Trussville, AL (Hewitt-Trussville)

High School Coach: Jack Wood

HIGH SCHOOL: As a senior, made 93 catches for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns ... Set a Class 6A state record with 93 catches ... Also returned 27 kickoffs for 810 yards and scored one touchdown and blocked three field goal attempts... As a junior, snared 87 passes for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns and returned 25 kickoffs for 675 yards and one touchdown ... Two-time Birmingham News Super All-State and Class 6A all-state selection ... Alabama Sports Writers Association all-state selection ...Named to the Prep Star All-Region team ... Also played basketball and competed in track in high school ...Placed third in the state indoor track championships in the 55-meters as a junior ... Member of the National Honor Society ... PERSONAL: Full name is Christopher Lee Guess ... Born March 30, 1984 ... Son of Connie and Chris Guess.


Will Herring

DB, 6-3, 205

Opelika, AL (Opelika) High School Coach: Spence McCracken

HIGH SCHOOL: Played quarterback in high school, finishing with 1,026 yards rushing on 122 carries (8.4 average) and 11 touchdowns and 952 yards passing and 10 touchdowns as a senior ...Helped lead Opelika to a 10-2 record in 2001... Passed for 915 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 545 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior ...Three-year starter at quarterback and led team to a 30-6 record during career ... Final career numbers were 2,638 yards passing with 22 touchdowns and 1,632 yards rushing with 27 touchdowns ... Two-time Opelika High School Offensive MVP ... Opelika-Auburn News Super 10 ...Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Dandy Dozen ... Ranked as one of the top 20 players in the state of Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ...Prep Star All-Region selection ... Also played baseball and was a two-time all-area selection .... Member of the National Honor Society ...PERSONAL: High school teammate of fellow signee Tommy Jackson and current Auburn freshman Lemarcus Rowell ... Born August 28, 1983 ... Son of Libba and Ron Herring.


Tommy "T.J." Jackson

L, 6-1, 280

Opelika, AL (Opelika)

High School Coach: Spence McCracken

HIGH SCHOOL: Totaled 127 tackles, 12 sacks, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles from defensive tackle position as a senior ...Also played offensive line as a senior ... Led Opelika to a 10-2 record ... Registered 107 tackles, four sacks, four batted passes, one caused fumble and one recovered fumble as a junior ... Two-year started on defense and three-year starter on offense ... Ranked one of the top 15 defensive tackles in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Birmingham News Super All-State Team ... Alabama Sports Writers All-State selection ....American General Alabama Player of the Year finalist ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 ... Ranked one of the top 15 players in the state of Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ... Max Emfinger All-American ... Prep Star All-American selection ... Also competes in track and wrestling and has posted a 63-3 record on the mat... PERSONAL: High school teammate of fellow signee Will Herring and current Auburn freshman Lemarcus Rowell ... Born December 12, 1983 ... Son of Virginia Jackson.


Tyrone Martin

LB, 6-1, 212

Alexander City, AL (Benjamin Russell)

High School Coach: Willie Carl Martin

HIGH SCHOOL: Finished senior season with 200 tackles, 26 sacks and four fumble recoveries ... Also rushed for 535 yards on 50 carries and eight touchdowns as a fullback ... Led his team to the 5A state championship .... In state championship game, registered 13 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack and rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries from fullback position ... As a junior, totaled 124 tackles, four fumble recoveries, and six sacks ... Four-year starter ... Named to the Birmingham News Super All-State Team ... Birmingham News Class 5A All-State Team ... Alabama Sports Writers Association 5A All-State Team ... American General Alabama Player of the Year finalist ... Alexander City Outlook Player of the Year ... Ranked as one of the top 20 players in the state of Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ...Prep Star All-Region selection ... Also played basketball ... Member of the National Honor Society ... PERSONAL: Full name is Tyrone Dwayne Martin ... Born January 20, 1983 .... Son of Dorthy and Anthony Goodman.


Marcus McNeill

L, 6-7, 315

Ellenwood, GA (Cedar Grove)

High School Coach: Robert Rice

HIGH SCHOOL: Graded over 95 percent as a offensive lineman ...Also played defense and totaled 43 tackles and nine sacks as a senior ... A four-year starter on defense ... Orlando Sentinel All-Southern Team ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Georgia Top 50 ... Played in the Georgia/Florida High School All-Star Game ... Rated one of the top three players in Georgia by SuperPrep Magazine ... SuperPrep All-American ... Tom Lemming Prep Football Report All-American ... Prep Star/ CBS SportsLine.com Dream Team ... Rated the second best offensive line prospect in the nation by Prep Star ... Max Emfinger Top 125 ... Ranked as the #12 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Also lettered in basketball, baseball and track ... Finished second in the Class 4A state meet in the shot put ... PERSONAL: High School teammate with fellow signee Jonathan Palmer ... Born November 16, 1983 ... Son of James and Leola McNeill.


Anthony Mix

L, 6-5, 230

Bay Minette, AL (Baldwin)

High School Coach: Rick Ford

Re-signed with Auburn ... HIGH SCHOOL: Played wide receiver, quarterback and defensive end as a senior in 2000 ... Had 448 receiving yards, eight touchdowns, 178 passing yards and returned two kickoffs for scores ... As a defensive end, finished with 31 tackles and five sacks .... As a junior, finished with 27 catches for 650 yards and scored 12 touchdowns including one on a kick return ... Three-year starter ... PrepStar All-American selection ... Ranked as one of the top 15 wide receivers in the southeast by PrepStar ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... Ranked the No. 8 wide receiver in country by Tom Lemming ... Tom Lemming Top 100 players nationally ... Tom Lemming's Super Team ... One of the top players in the state of Alabama by FoxSports.com ... Orlando Sentinel All-Southern Team ... Birmingham News Super Seniors ....SuperPrep All-American ... Ranked as one of the top 35 wide receivers in the nation by SuperPrep Magazine...Plays center on high school basketball team ... Has been clocked at 10.6 in the 100m ... PERSONAL: Born January 20, 1983 ... Son of Caroline Mix and T.C. Betts.


Doug Morris

L, 6-4, 268

Pensacola, FL (Woodham)

High School Coach: Mike Sherrill

HIGH SCHOOL: Finished senior season with 62 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble, one blocked kick and one interception returned 48 yards for a touchdown ... Broke his left forearm as a junior and played in only four games ... Florida Times Union Super 75 ... Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100 ... Florida Dream Team second-team selection ... Rated as the nation's 16th best strongside defensive end by Rivals100.com ...All-Northwest Florida selection ... Florida Sports Writers third-team all-state selection ... Prep Star All-Region selection ...SuperPrep All-Region selection ....Sunshine Network All-Gridiron Team ... Pensacola News Journal Super Senior ... Finished second in the state in the shot put and helped lead team to a Class 3A state title ...Set a school record and finished fifth in the discus in the state meet with a throw of 158-11.5 ... All-State in track ...State qualifier in weight lifting ... PERSONAL: Born April 7, 1983 ... Son of Brenda and Billy Ray Morris Sr.


Ben Obomanu

WR, 6-3, 185

Selma, AL (Selma)

High School Coach: Jerome Harper


HIGH SCHOOL: As a senior, caught 31 passes for 460 yards and nine touchdowns ... Also rushed for 218 yards on 20 carries for three touchdowns ... Totaled 284 yards on punt and kick returns and one touchdown ... Had six touchdown catches as a junior ... Scored 30 career touchdowns ... Four-year starter ... Parade All-American ... Prep Star/CBS Sportsline Dream Team ... Rated the fourth best receiver in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Ranked the 11th best receiver in the country by Prep Star ... SuperPrep Magazine Elite 50 ... Ranked the top player in Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... Birmingham News 6A All-State selection ... CNNSI.com and The Insiders 101 ... Max Emfinger Top 125 ... Orlando Sentinel All-Southern Team Honorable Mention ... Alabama Sports Writers All-State selection as a defensive back ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 ... The Sporting News Hot 101 ... Also starts for the basketball team ... PERSONAL: Full name is Benjamin Ebenezer Obomanu ... Born October 30, 1983 ... Son of Brenda Obomanu.


Jonathan Palmer

L, 6-5, 311

Ellenwood, GA (Cedar Grove)

High School Coach: Robert Rice

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year starter at defensive tackle and offensive guard .... Finished senior season with 25 tackles and four sacks ... SuperPrep Magazine All-Dixie Team ...Rated as one of the top 55 defensive tackles in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Also plays basketball ... PERSONAL: High School teammate of fellow signee Marcus McNeill ... Brother, Michael, is a linebacker for Georgia Tech ... Born December 3, 1983 ... Son of Tempie and Roy Palmer.


Montavis Pitts

ATH, 6-1, 180

Loachapoka, AL (Loachapoka)

High School Coach: Jerome Tate

HIGH SCHOOL: Started at quarterback as a senior and had 615 yards passing, 565 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns ... Also played defensive back and finished with 129 tackles, and four interceptions ... Returned two punts for touchdowns ...As a junior, totaled 1,261 passing yards and 12 touchdowns, 300 yards rushing and four touchdowns, two punt return touchdowns, four kickoff returns for scores and 78 tackles and five interceptions on defense ... Ranked one of the top 10 athletes in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Max Emfinger Top 125 ... Birmingham News Class A All-State selection as an athlete ... Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State Team as a defensive back ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... The Sporting News Hot 101 ... PrepStar/CBS Sportsline.com Top 100 Dream Team ... One of the top five players in the state of Alabama by SuperPrep Magazine ... SuperPrep Magazine All-American ... Also a three-year starter in basketball and baseball and competed in track ...Two-time all-area selection in basketball and baseball ... Set a school record with a .661 batting average as a sophomore ... PERSONAL: Born March 3, 1984 ... Full name is Montavis Demond Pitts ... Nickname is Montae ... Son of Patricia Pitts.


Troy Reddick

L, 6-6, 310

Albany, GA (Westover)

High School Coach: Richard Hodges

HIGH SCHOOL: Two-way starter in high school ... As a defensive tackle, finished with 50 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior ... Did not allow a sack from left guard position ...As a junior graded higher than 87 percent on offense and had 20 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles on defense ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Georgia Top 50 ... Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 ... SuperPrep Magazine All-Dixie Team ... Ranked as one of the top 15 players in Georgia by SuperPrep Magazine ... Rated as one of the top 30 offensive tackles in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Prep Star All-Southeast Region selection ...PERSONAL: Full name is Troy Stanley Reddick ... Born December 12, 1983.


Kevin Sears

LB, 6-4, 220

Russellville, AL (Russellville)

High School Coach: Perry Swindall

HIGH SCHOOL: Finished senior season with 68 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, one of which was returned 50 yards for a touchdown ... Led Russellville to a berth in the state 6A semifinal game ... Part of a secondary that only allowed 78 yards passing per game in 2001 ... Three-year starter ... As a junior, registered 77 tackles, seven interceptions and seven broken up passes .... Also saw time at wide receiver and on special teams ... Two-time 5A all-state selection ... Birmingham News 5A All-State selection ... Huntsville Times Elite 11 ... Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Southeast Team selection ...Prep Star All-Region selection ... Also lettered in basketball ... PERSONAL: Cousin of former Auburn offensive lineman Colin Sears ...Full name is Kevin O'Brian Sears ... Born July 1, 1983 ... Son of Henreatte Sears and Calvin Woods.


Tre Smith

RB, 5-11, 190

Venice, FL (Venice)

High School Coach: Nick Coleman


HIGH SCHOOL: Finished senior season with 1,776 yards on 180 carries (9.9 avg.) and 20 touchdowns ...As a junior, rushed for 1,886 yards and 34 touchdowns ... Led Venice to a 15-0 record and a Florida Class 5A state championship as a junior ...Set Venice High School records in single-game rushing (336 yards) and career yards (4,850 yards) ... Selected to play in the Florida-California All-Star Game ... Named the Florida Class 6A Player of the Year as a junior ... Two-time All-State selection ...Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100 ... Ranked as one of the top 15 running backs in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-American ...SuperPrep Magazine All-American ... Prep Star All-American ... Florida Times Union Super 75 ... One of the top 25 running backs in the nation by ESPN.com ... Also ran track and broke the Venice High School record in the 100m ...Also competed in weight lifting ... National Honor Society member and Wendy's High School Heisman Nominee ... PERSONAL: Born April 4, 1984 ... Son of Philip and Pat Mitchem.


Courtney Taylor

WR, 6-3, 185

Carrollton, AL (Carrollton)

High School Coach: Eddie Hankins

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter at quarterback and cornerback ... As a quarterback, collected 1,200 all-purpose yards passing and running ... Threw for 10 touchdowns ... As a defensive back, totaled 76 tackles and six interceptions ... Led high school team to 10-2 record as a senior ....Also competed in track and won the state Class A high jump as a junior ... Talented basketball player that is averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds as a senior ... As a junior, averaged 21 points, four assists and six rebounds ...PERSONAL: Born April 7, 1984 ... Son of Mary and Joe Walker.


William Ward

L, 6-2, 250

Prattville, AL (Prattville)

High School Coach: Bill Clark

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter ... Played center and was a deep snapper ... Helped lead Prattville to a 12-1 record and a berth in the third round of the 6A playoffs as a senior ... Averaged a 90 percent grade, the highest grade of Prattsville's offensive linemen ... Totaled 25 pancakes on the season ... Ranked one of the top ten centers in the nation by Rivals100.com ... Prep Star All-Region selection ... PERSONAL: Son of Mitch and Brenda Ward ... Born March 16, 1984.


Brandon Williams

DB, 6-1, 195

Columbus, GA (Shaw)

High School Coach: Charles Flowers


HIGH SCHOOL: As a senior at Shaw in Columbus, registered 90 tackles and four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns of 35 and 45 yards ...Also blocked two field goals ... Played junior season at Central Phenix City where he had 110 tackles, one interception, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries ... Georgia 4A All-State selection ... Columbus Ledger-Enquirer All-Bi-City Team ...Prep Star All-Region Team ... PERSONAL: Played at same high school as fellow signee Troy Bergeron ... Born July 6, 1984 ... Full name is Brandon David Williams ... Son of Monique and Winfred Hinton and Garrett and Katia Williams. .

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