Speedy Linebacker Commits To Tigers

Auburn continues its push for speed on defense with this linebacker from the Magnolia State.

Hattiesburg, Miss.-–The hits keep coming for Auburn in the recruiting game as standout linebacker Hendrick Leverette from Oak Grove Attendance Center High gave a verbal commitment on Monday to play for the Tigers.

A 6-0, 210 speedster that has a knack for finding the football, Leverette had offers from Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Tennessee, West Virginia and strong interest from Florida State and LSU, but a visit to a recent summer camp at Auburn solidified his decision that his future was going to be painted orange and blue.

"I had known for a while," Leverette tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I was kind of leaning towards Auburn before I went down for the camp, but after I got to the camp I knew that was the place I wanted to be. I chose Auburn mainly because of their tradition in football. I got a chance to talk with Coach (Joe) Whitt and got a feel for how he coaches. I think that's the best fit for me to play linebacker in college.

"I toured the campus some when I came over the 16th," he adds. "I think that was big for me because during the recruiting process I was only able to talk with Coach (Don) Dunn. When I got around my position coach I felt real comfortable with Coach Whitt after spending time with him. He's been there about 20 years and that obviously shows he knows what he's doing. All the camps I went to I really looked at my position coach and I feel like Coach Whitt was the best fit for me."

Leverette is listed as a safety by some, but his future is at linebacker with Auburn.

With the success of smaller, faster linebackers since his days at Miami with players such as Rohan Marley and Jessie Armstead and currently at Auburn with Travis Williams and Antarrious Williams, Auburn's Tommy Tuberville has proven that you can win without having huge linebackers. Leverette says that's something that made Auburn even more attractive the more he looked at the program.

"That's probably close to the main factor on why I chose Auburn," Leverette says. "I watched smaller linebackers have success last year."

Using his 4.52 speed in the 40-yard dash, Leverette is a three-year starter and played tailback for Oak Grove last season, but it was on defense where he made his mark. Helping his team to a 9-4 record he made 203 tackles with four sacks and two interceptions. He says that his strength on defense is his ability to run to the ball.

"My strength is probably coming downhill," Leverette says. "I like coming downhill on the run. I think my speed helps me out inside and sideline to sideline. I have good instincts because every time I'm around the ball."

Leverette becomes Auburn's seventh public verbal commitment joining recent commitment quarterback Steven Ensminger. The others are athlete Mario Fannin, running back Benjamin Tate, quarterback Neil Caudle and defensive linemen Bart Eddins and Greg Smith.

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