Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-—One of the nation's fastest players says that the addition of Coach Tony Franklin to Auburn's coaching staff has him excited about the possibilities within the Auburn offense.
Standout Philip Pierre-Louis from St. Thomas Aquinas High is being recruited as a wide receiver and kick returner by Auburn and several other programs. The 5-8, 165 burner says that he got a chance to see Franklin's offense against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and he likes what he saw.
"I watched the game and it was great," Pierre-Louis tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "They put in a new offense and so far it's looking good for it to just be starting. I talked to a couple of coaches and they told me it was going to be up-tempo and to look out for it because they were going to try it in the bowl game. It looked real nice."
Familiar with Auburn's program because of the success of the Tigers in recent years, Pierre-Louis says that the addition of an up-tempo offense to go along with a stout defense has him excited about the future of the program.
"Every year Auburn is going to have a good defense and this year they've got a new offensive coordinator," Pierre-Louis says. "They're trying to install a great offense to go along with that now."
Another reason for his deep interest in the Tigers is old friend Wes Byrum is currently the starting kicker as a freshman. Fellow St. Thomas player Jermaine Johnson is also scheduled to be on Auburn's roster next season after a year at Hargrave Military in Virginia. Pierre-Louis says having some familiar faces around is always a plus when making a decision of this magnitude.
"That won't hurt at all," Pierre-Louis says. "I talked to Wes a couple of days ago. Actually it was the day of the bowl game. He told me to watch and see how I liked it. He told me he loved it up there and that I should definitely come and visit. That's great because I've known Wes since my freshman year. We've always played on the same team."
Helping his team to the Class 5A State Championship in Florida after losing in the finals for three consecutive years, Pierre-Louis was a big weapon for the Raiders on offense and in the kicking game. He caught 30 passes for 600 yards and eight touchdowns and also added two rushing touchdowns and four punt returns for scores as well. As a junior he had four touchdown catches and five returns for scores, but it was his senior year that finished with a bang.
"It was a great feeling for all the seniors and all the underclassmen," Pierre-Louis says. "We had to step it up big time because we didn't really have the big name players we used to have. We all came together as a team and we won it."
Pierre-Louis now turns his attention to the recruiting process with an official visit scheduled in one week. He notes that he currently has two visits set, but is not sure on his remaining trips.
"I'm up to eight offers right now," Pierre-Louis says. "I have offers from Mississippi State, Auburn, and a couple more schools. It's going good right now. I have a visit set for Auburn on Jan. 11 and a visit to Iowa State on the 18th. That's the only two I have scheduled right now."
Hand-timed at 4.25 seconds at a combine in the Miami area last summer, Pierre-Louis says he's consistently in the 4.3 range for the 40-yard dash. Running track for the Raiders, he says his best 100 meter time is 10.52 seconds while his 200 time is 21.1.
Pierre-Louis was scheduled to play in the Offense/Defense All-American Bowl in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend, but says that he's uncertain if he'll play at the moment. "I'm thinking about it," Pierre-Louis says. "I don't think I'm going to though."