Tigers Get Offensive With Latest Commitment

Auburn has been looking for a fullback to replace Jake Slaughter in the lineup since the end of last season. While the Tigers may have to wait another season for him, it looks like they've found their man.

Augusta, Ga.—-If size and athleticism are factors in a football player's future, then big John Douglas from Aquinas High School should be an excellent pickup for the Auburn Tigers this year. A 6-2, 235-pounder with good speed and hands, Douglas was a standout at Auburn's Senior Camp over the weekend and his performance earned him an offer from the Tigers. Once that happened it didn't take long for Douglas to pull the trigger.

"I really like the coaching staff a lot," Douglas tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "They had a lot to do with my decision. I'm going to be the one fullback they sign and I really just like the place. I knew I would fit in good around there. I feel like I can come in and be a good blocking back. I can block and catch the ball out of the backfield.

"I didn't know Auburn was the place for me until I got here," he adds. "I talked with Coach (Eddie) Gran and he really had a lot to do with it. I like him a lot. He was a big factor in things. Just the way they treated me throughout the camp was a big deal."

Douglas can really move for a player his size and says his personal-best 40-yard time is 4.65 seconds.

Soon to be a four-year starter for Aquinas High, Douglas plays both fullback and defensive end and accumulated around 90 tackles as a junior. While most of his stats have come on defense in his career because of his use mostly as a blocker on offense, there's little doubt he's headed for the fullback position on the next level because of his fluid running style and size.

He showed the complete package at Auburn's recent camp when he ran well in testing with a 4.73 40-yard dash on a slow surface and also performed very well when stacked up against some of the South's top competition. Facing off against linebackers such as Josh Bynes from Boyd Anderson in South Florida and Marshall Williams from Parkview and Southwest DeKalb High in Decatur, Ga., Douglas more than held his own for two days. That alone showed not only the coaches but also Douglas than he has what it takes to play in the SEC.

"It was a chance to play against the best," Douglas says. "You've got the best out there and apparently the coaches thought good of me. It makes you feel good about yourself that you're competing with the best and being one of the best."

With only offers from several smaller schools at the moment, Douglas was preparing for a run of camps including Georgia and Clemson where he was hoping for an offer from both, but after his commitment to Auburn on Sunday he says that he'll no longer look elsewhere and will now concentrate on his senior season.

"I'm hearing from UGA, South Carolina, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Middle Tennessee State and others," Douglas says. "I was going to a few more camps, but I don't think I will any more. Not much use in that."

Football is a family affair for Douglas as his father has a history of playing college football with stops at Georgia and Georgia Southern along the way. Along on the camp trip with his son to Auburn, father Pat Douglas says that he's very happy for a number of reasons that his son has decided to play football for the Tigers.

"We've just been thrilled by Auburn from the start in that they got on John early," his father Pat says. "Coach (Greg) Knox recruits our area and he's super. He's organized and he's enthusiastic. He got on John early and often. Other than Coach Knox we're thrilled with Coach (Eddie) Gran, who John will be playing for.

"I have been a friend of Coach (Hugh) Nall's for a long time. I was a walk-on at Georgia when Coach Nall was playing there. Then I went down to Statesboro when we started a program at Georgia Southern. I played out my eligibility there and then coached there for three years with Hugh, so we've been friends a long time. I trust him and being around the coaches it's like a close-knit family. I trust them with my son and I wouldn't just trust anybody."

Douglas becomes Auburn's sixth commitment for the Class of 2007 joining defensive backs Johnny Lee Dixon from Belle Glades Central (Fla.) High, Daquan Bembry from Hawkinsville, Ga. and Michael Slade from Lincoln High in Tallahassee, Fla., offensive tackle Kyle Coulahan from Pensacola, Fla., and tight end Bailey Woods from Marietta, Ga.

2006 Inside the Auburn Tigers Auburn Football Guide

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories