Athletic Defender Says He Will Be an AU Tiger

Auburn has picked up another verbal commitment for the 2008 football signee class.

Clanton, Ala.--After getting an in-home visit from Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville and AU assistant Greg Knox, Chilton County High School senior Derrick Lykes says he plans to play his college football for the Auburn Tigers.

A 6-4, 277-pound senior, who notes that he runs a 4.6 40-yard dash, Lykes is the first cousin of NFL player Dewayne White. A defensive end, Lykes says he will take an official visit to Auburn this weekend.

"When I told them I was going to sign with Auburn, Coach Tuberville and Coach Knox told me they were very excited that I am going to be an Auburn Tiger," Lykes told Inside the Auburn Tigers on Tuesday.

"I like the Auburn players, the coaches and the facilities," says Lykes, who has been an unofficial visitor to the AU campus for games. He has also been a standout at Auburn's summer football camps.

A prospect who plays strongside defensive end and tight end, he says that he expects to line up at defensive end at Auburn.

Lykes broke into the starting lineup at Chilton County High as a freshman. His senior year was not the big season he was hoping for when he suffered torn ligaments in his ankle. "I got hurt the third game of the season and I didn't play any more," says Lykes, who adds that he has recovered and plans to compete on the track and field team this spring throwing the shot. "My ankle is fine now," he says.

Early in the recruiting process Lykes was contacted by a variety of colleges, but notes that he considered offers from in-state schools AU, Alabama, UAB and Jacksonville State.

"I am excited about my decision to sign with Auburn," says Lykes, who notes that Tuberville and Knox told him he would have a chance to earn playing time early in his college career.

As a junior, he also ran the 100 meters in track. He made 75 tackles with eight sacks. He forced three fumbles and scored four touchdowns with two on defense and two as a tight end.

"I would say my strength as a football player is rushing the passer," Lykes says.

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