Running Back Plans To Sign With Tigers

The Auburn football Tigers have picked up another verbal commitment.

Athens, Ala.--Auburn has picked up its second verbal commitment for the 2003 football signee class from Athens High School running back Jason Jude.

A 6-1, 218-pound bruiser, he is in the mold of former Auburn standout James Bostic and current Pittsburgh Steelers star Jerome Bettis in running style.

Jude goes into his senior season with 3,100-plus career rushing yards and 40 touchdowns.

"I grew up an Auburn fan and have liked them since I was little and I committed to Auburn today," Jude tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I am looking forward to playing for Auburn."

Jude, who rushed for 1,650 yards to earn All-State honors as a junior, led Athens to an 8-4 record. He says he picked the Tigers over Ole Miss, Memphis, Louisville and others.

He says his top game last season came against Class 5A power Russellville. "They didn't think we had much but we almost beat them," says Jude, who rushed for 170 yards that night.

Auburn's first commitment came earlier in July from defensive lineman Josh Thompson, who plays at Statesboro, Ga., High School.

Jude is a three-year starter at Athens and says he started as a freshman at linebacker at Butler High in Huntsville. He is now exclusively an offensive player, who lines up as an "I" tailback for Athens. He is expected to grow into a fullback as a collegian.

Jude didn't attend a football camp at Auburn, but visited the campus this week with his father and they talked to Auburn running backs coach Eddie Gran, offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino and cornerbacks coach Phillip Lolley, who recruits the Athens area for the Tigers. "I enjoyed meeting the coaches," he says.

Jude says his best time in the 40-yard dash is 4.53 and notes that he made his school's A-B honor roll as a junior. "I am in good shape academically," he says.

Auburn is expected to have room for approximately 20 signees next February.

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