The brother of Auburn linebacker Courtney Harden said, "I just love the players and the coaching staff at Auburn. I just felt more comfortable there than anywhere else.
"I know some people try to make it out because of my brother, but it wasn't about my brother being there. Auburn just felt like a family."
Ricks was originally planning to make his announcement at the school on Friday, but went ahead made it public on Thursday night after getting an in-home visit from Auburn assistant coach Don Dunn and assistant Terry Price.
Jermarcus Ricks is one of the state's top prospects.
"I knew it was Auburn the moment I got there on the official visit last weekend," he said. "Until that point, it really was 50-50.
"When I came home I knew it was Auburn, but I didn't want to tell anybody. Tonight I made my commitment."
A dominating defensive tackle for Colbert County, Ricks has been a standout since his freshman season for the Indians. At 6-4 and nearly 290 pounds, he has the size and explosiveness to help the Tigers right away at defensive tackle.
Ricks chose the Tigers over the Tide and also had offers from LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and many of the top programs in the country. He becomes Auburn's 19th public verbal commitment.