"He had an official out there for USC, and without getting into a lot of details he decided he was going to go to Auburn," East Wake head coach Jimmy Williams tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.
Williams adds that the talented athlete has easily been one of the most impressive players that he has coached in his career. "Al has been very special," he says. "I have coached a lot of great players at East Wake and we have put them in a lot of universities, but Al is by far the most widely recruited kid that we have had and he is basically nation-wide.
"He has got skills that you don't teach a young man," Williams continues. "He has got speed and explosion that are just God given, and what we try and do with those kids like that is coach them up and try to make them the best technicians possible."
The coach notes that Mullins' combination of athletic ability and technique have garnered him over 20 scholarship offers from big-name programs around the country. "I'll give you the top five and then I'll go backwards," he says about the list of scholarship offers. "It's Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida, LSU and Tennessee. Beyond that, Florida State and Miami are on board. Those are the two that have shown a lot of interest, but have not offered. Then there is Nebraska, Missouri, Purdue, Michigan State, Arkansas, Georgia, NC State, North Carolina, Maryland there are just a ton of them. USC also just offered last week."
Although, Mullins has received a ton of attention from college recruiters, Williams says his star player is still a very down-to-earth person. "He has been a team leader for us," the coach explains. "He is a real low-key kid, doesn't talk a lot, isn't loud, and speaks when he needs to speak. Most of his leadership is done by his actions rather than words and we are going to miss him. I don't know where he is going, but somebody is going to get a great player."
Williams notes that as well as Mullins plays on the defensive front, he also had to get him some action at other positions as well.
"I probably played him too many spots and midseason we peeled back," he says. "He played three technique. He can easily play a one technique. We had him playing tight end and we had him playing fullback as well. So, we took the tight end away and focused on the fullback.
"We could have done a lot more with him at the fullback, but he changes the game on defense at the high school level, particularly when he is fresh," he adds. "So, we decided our best opportunity for success was to stop people from scoring, and so he played mostly three technique and there were some games where he played linebacker. This kid was an All-State linebacker in Missouri as a sophomore, at the mike linebacker. He never played with his hand down until he came to East Wake."
Aleric Mullins is rated as the state of North Carolina's top defensive line prospect.
Even though Mullins only made his way to East Wake following his sophomore season, he was a two-year starter, and Williams says it is easy to see why. "I would say his first step, his explosion, not too many people I have coached, in fact none, have the step that he has," he explains about his best attribute on defense. "He comes off the ball extremely quick. He gets his hands on offensive people and he finds the ball."
As a senior, the talented defender put up some strong numbers despite missing some action. "He had several fumble recoveries, nine total sacks," Williams says. "It seems like he had 84 tackles for the season because we played 12 games and in two of them he had a small injury and didn't play that much."
On the recruiting front, Mullins has already taken his first official visit to Oklahoma, and Williams says his defensive tackle basically has his schedule set up for the remaining trips as well.
"His next two weekends will be spent playing in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl and after that it appears to be Tennessee, Florida and one that appears to be open which will probably be LSU or North Carolina," he notes about his official visit schedule following his trip to the Plains.
Williams also notes that he feels like he has a pretty good grasp on when Mullins would like to make his final decision. "I am going to say probably a week before signing day or a week and a half," the coach says. "I know he wanted to go through the Shrine Bowl and go through Christmas. But, I think he is close though. To be honest I think he is down to Auburn, Tennessee and Florida. That is my gut feeling."