It's Tigers Or Tide, In-State Prospect Says

This high school senior discusses his official visit to Bama last week and one planned to Auburn this weekend.

Birmingham, Ala.--After checking out the University of Alabama Crimson Tide last weekend on an official visit, Oak Mountain High kicker and punter Ryan Shoemaker will do the same thing this weekend at Auburn.

The 6-0, 192-pounder is one of seven prospects scheduled for official visits at Auburn this weekend.

"I had a great visit at Alabama and I am looking forward to coming to Auburn this weekend," Shoemaker tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.

"It was a really busy weekend in Tuscaloosa," he says of his previous visit. "They had so many things planned for us."

Shoemaker, a three-year starter at Oak Mountain, notes that Tide head coach Mike Shula and assistant Dave Ungerer, who handles special teams and tight ends, talked to him at length over the weekend trying to convince him to play for the Tide.

The high school senior says both Auburn and Alabama want him to come to their campuses as a specially invited walk-on with the opportunity of winning a scholarship after they are already on the team.

Shoemaker notes that coaches from both schools have been regularly visiting him and calling him. He says that Auburn's Tommy Tuberville and assistant coach Terry Price were originally planning to visit him on Thursday, but rescheduled that for the first week in January, the same time Shula is expected to make an in-home visit with the kicker/punter.

The high school senior says his favorite part of the recruiting weekend was checking out the locker room and field at Bryant-Denny Stadium and watching a highlight video from the 50-yard line. "That was cool," he says.

Shoemaker says he has been recruited by UAB, Vanderbilt and Georgia, too, but says he has narrowed his choices to the Tigers and Tide. "I decided to eliminate the others and it is going to be one of those two."

Shoemaker helped Oak Mountain to the best year in school history with a 10-4 record as the team advanced to the semi-finals of the Class 6A state playoffs before losing to state champion Hoover.

Shoemaker, who took an unofficial visit to Auburn to see the Tigers whip Alabama in the regular season finale, made 12-18 field goals as a senior, 38-39 PAT kicks and hit nearly 80 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone. He averaged 39.5 yards as a senior with good hang time after averaging 42.5 as a junior.

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