Tigers Pick Up Another Football Commitment

The football Tigers have picked up another verbal commitment.

Tallahassee, Fla.--Michael Slade, a 6-3, 190-pound defensive back from Lincoln High School, plans to sign with Auburn in February.

That is the word from Lincoln High head coach Kyle Rice, who says the Tigers are getting a very good prospect.

"He is a 6-3, 190-pounder with excellent speed and good grades," the coach says.

"Michael is a great young man from a great family and I think he has the ability to play either cornerback or safety in college.

"He played cornerback for us last year, but this year we have moved him to free safety and he looks to be a natural at the position."

Slade tells Inside the Auburn Tigers there are several factors on why he plans to sign with Coach Tommy Tuberville's team.

"Academics is a big part of the decision," he says. "That is very big to me and very big to my parents. Auburn is a great school academically along with having a great football program that plays in bowls every year and is one of the top teams in the SEC.

"Another big factor is that I have a lot of relatives who live in the Montgomery area. Also, Auburn is not too far from home and that is important, too."

Auburn signed Lincoln star linebacker Craig Stevens in February and that helped Auburn land the big defensive back. "Craig is a friend of mine and it adds to my comfort level in going to Auburn knowing that there will be somebody there with me that I know."

Slade and his coach note the defensive back had lots of early offers from teams around the SEC, ACC, Big 10 and other conferences.

"The others I really considered were Illinois, South Carolina and North Carolina State," Slade says. "However, Auburn was an easy choice because it has so many things going for it."

The fact that Slade started and played well as a junior says a lot for his ability, Coach Rice notes. "We had three defensive backs sign at the Division I level and one who is good enough to go there sign with a junior college," he says.

"You have to be a very good player just to get on the field here," he adds. "We have three cornerbacks who have been here since 2001 who are currently in the NFL."

Slade also competes on the Lincoln High track team. He has a personal best of 51.0 in the 400, 21 feet in the long jujp and 43 feet, five inches in the triple jump.

He is currently still finishing his junior year academically at Lincoln and says he plans to come up to visit the Auburn campus this summer.

"I would describe myself as a very aggressive player," Slade says. "I like to be physical and I drive to play hard."

Rice says that he believes that Slade will play cornerback at Auburn, but notes that he the move to free safety for his senior year has gone smoothly. "He looks like a natural at the position," the coach says. "I think he has the size and athletic ability to play either position in college."

Slade agrees. "I think I will start off as a cornerback at Auburn and I will eventually move to free safety there," he says. "I like both positions. I like the the freedom that you have to roam and make plays at free safety. Like it says in the name, you are free to move around and try to make something good happen."

Slade is Auburn's fourth public verbal commitment for the 2007 signee class joining offensive tackle/athlete Kyle Coulahan of Catholic High in Pensacola, cornerback Daquan Bembery is from Hawkinsville, Ga., High and tight end Bailey Woods from Walton High in Marietta, Ga.

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