Steven Ensminger, the son of Auburn University tight ends coach Steve Ensminger, says he plans to sign with the Tigers. He is choosing Auburn over Miami and Louisiana Tech, colleges that had also offered scholarships to the strong-throwing right-hander.
"I thought it was the right decision," Ensminger tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "My dad really hadn't talked to me about going to Auburn, but we talked on Saturday and he said it was a real good decision. I thought it was a real good decision, too.
"I like the college and the system at Auburn," Ensminger adds. "The coaches are nice. I have been around them for a few years and I think everybody will be just perfect. This is where I belong."
The 6-2, 193-pounder played at Opelika High as a junior, but is returning to West Monroe High in Monroe, La., as a senior, which was formerly home for the family. He played for that school as a freshman and still knows many of the players on the team.
Steven Ensminger is shown last season at Opelika High.
After talking over plans for his senior season with his father, the two decided it would be best for Steven to play at West Monroe, where Steven once coached. The son says he leaves Opelika High on a good note despite having to share QB duties there with another talented senior-to-be, Jonathan Chandler, who is known as a good runner.
"I am looking forward to playing there this season," Ensminger says of West Monroe High. "I want to go down there and win ball games. We will run a little bit of everything on offense--option, spread, three wide, four wide and five wide. We will mix it up."
The quarterback says he is transferring from Opelika High with no hard feelings. "I love my coaches there," he says. "I have had good times with them and I am going to miss them. I enjoyed going to school and I have friends there. Coach (Spence) McCracken is a great guy and I am going to miss him."
Ensminger says he has been lucky to grow up as a football player receiving advice from his father, who was a star QB at LSU who played for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. "I have got a big advantage," Steven says. "He knows what is doing. He is experienced and has coached some of the best. Hopefully, I will be one of the best. He isn't playing around when he says something. I am glad to have him as a dad and as a coach. It's a big opportunity for me and I want to take advantage of it."
During the spring and summer, the senior-to-be has been hitting the camp and combine circuit, gaining weight and strength and trying to become a smarter football player.
"I am trying to know the game better," he says. "I want to get stronger and faster and concentrate on what I need to do. In January, I was weighing about 180. I am about 199 to 200 right now. I have gained a lot of weight. My dad is a big part of that. He is always on me about that and if he wasn't I wouldn't be where I am right now."
So what has the quarterback done to gain so much weight in the last seven months? "I just eat until I stuff myself," he says. "I even eat when I am not hungry. I lift weights and that helps. I try to eat healthy. I don't eat a lot of junk food and I drink a lot of water, too. Everything has just come together."
Ensminger is the sixth public verbal commitment for the Tigers, and second and final QB the Tigers are expected to add for the 2006 signee class. A week ago, Neil Caudle from Spain Park High in Hoover, selected the Tigers. Caudle is considered one of the top QB prospects in the nation. Ensminger says that he welcomes the competition.
"Neil planning to come to Auburn doesn't concern me at all," Ensminger says. "I have competed against Neil at a few camps and I know him pretty well. I know his parents and they are nice people. I know him and he is a great guy and I am looking forward to competing against him in college."
Ensminger was a standout at Auburn's final prospect camp of the summer and he was also one of the top performers at the Auburn Scout.com combine and the U.S. Army Scout.com Combine in San Antonio earlier this year.
Ensminger prepares to throw a pass at an Auburn football camp in mid-July.
"I think I have improved a lot this summer," Ensminger says. "I have been up against a lot of talented players and it's good to see that and different looks from different people. It has helped me a lot to go with different coaches and seeing what they've got to offer at different schools. It has been a long summer. It's almost over though so I'm going to keep working. This will be my senior year and I'm looking forward to it."
Ensminger is a dropback style passer. He runs the 40 in the 4.8s to 4.9 range. His cutting ability is more impressive than his straight line speed. He has done a very quick 4.03 NFL shuttle and his leaping ability is exceptional with a 39-inch vertical jump.
Ensminger plans to use that leaping ability in a second sport at West Monroe this season. "I haven't played basketball my last two years, but I just love playing the game," he says. "It helps my athletic ability. Fortunately, I am a white guy who can jump."