Viciente DeLoach, a 6-4, 220-pound senior from Columbus High School, plans to sign in February to be part of the Tigers' 2003 football signee class.
"Auburn has been recruiting me for a long time and I really like the college," DeLoach tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "A lot of colleges have been recruiting me, but Auburn really stands out from the others. I like the coaches there, their football team and the university. I feel real good about Auburn and real good about my decision."
A very important part of the college choice equation for DeLoach is the academic end. A member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club at Columbus High, he is serious about his classwork. "I want to major in engineering in college," he says. "I am not sure if I want to go into electrical engineering or computer engineering."
With 4.7 speed in the 40, long arms and quickness as a rusher on the corner, DeLoach got off to a strong start with 14 tackles in his opening game. However, a chop block ended the season early. He is now recovering from a broken fibula and a dislocated ankle that has kept him on crutches, however, he is expected to be able to put them aside this week.
His physicians have told him that he should make a complete recovery. DeLoach says that he would like to get back on the field this season, but notes that he isn't sure the doctors will let him come back that soon. There is a good chance that his next sporting endeavor will be as a member of his school's track and field team. As a junior, he threw the shot 50 feet and high jumped six feet, two inches.
"I would say the best part of my game is being aggressive and rushing the quarterback," says DeLoach, who has been recruited by Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida and others. DeLoach notes that he likes to use the first couple plays of a game to get a feel for the quickness of the offensive line and its aggressiveness and then devise a plan of action for a particular game.
With Auburn looking for pass rushers for the 2003 signee class, the Tigers took an early interest in DeLoach. With DeLoach's interest in playing for an SEC team that has a chance to challenge for a league title plus a good engineering program, the defensive end could be a good fit at Auburn. "Coach (Phillip) Lolley told me that they are looking for defensive ends who can come in and contribute immediately," DeLoach notes. That is something that I would like to do." He is expected to be on campus for the LSU game on an unofficial visit to personally check out Auburn's game against the defending SEC champions.
DeLoach is the fifth high school senior to give a verbal commitment to the Tigers for the February signing class. He is the second defensive end, joining Wenonah High's Lloyd Blevins. The Tigers also have a commitment from another defensive lineman, Josh Thompson, a strong inside player from Statesboro, Ga., High.