Savage Talks About Decision to Be a Tiger

One of the state's most talented football prospects announced his college choice on Wednesday.

Huntsville, Ala.--The wait is over for talented defender Jomarcus Savage as he pulled the trigger and committed to the Auburn Tigers over the Tennessee Volunteers at a press conference at Johnson High School on Wednesday morning.

Pulling an Auburn hat out of a backpack, Savage then announced that he will play for Coach Tommy Tuberville's Tigers.

"It was just the atmosphere," he told Inside the Auburn Tigers on why he picked AU. "When I went down there it was just great. It is a real family-oriented place. It was just great. It felt like home."

A 6-3, 265 talented athlete who can play linebacker and defensive end, Savage is a big addition to an Auburn class looking to finish with a bang.

"About a week and half ago I kind of knew where I was going and what I was going to do," Savage says when asked about when he came to a decision.

"My mind was kind of always jumbled, but after I left both visits (Auburn and Tennessee ) and I came home to a room full of Auburn coaches it really showed me how much they wanted me and how much work they put into it," he says.

"It really let me know they were going to take care of me. It was still neck and neck after that, but when it came down to it, it felt like Auburn was a great fit for me."

As a senior Savage had a superb season for J.O. Johnson as the team reached the number one ranking during the regular season in Class 5A before falling to Briarwood Christian and Auburn commitment Barrett Trotter in the second round of the playoffs. In that game Savage harassed Trotter all night, finishing with 10 tackles and three sacks and showed why he is considered one of the top defensive prospects in Alabama.

Jomarcus Savage makes his announcement on Wednesday at J.O. Johnson High School.

For the season he finished with 75 tackles and 10 sacks while splitting time at defensive end and linebacker. That was enough to earn him Class 5A All-State honors for Savage. He was also named the Metro Defensive Player of the Year by the Huntsville Times. As a junior he finished with 79 tackles and nine sacks.

Following his official visit to Auburn on the weekend of January 12th, Savage said he was happy to learn that the coaching staff saw him as a hybrid guy similar to former Tiger Quentin Groves and current standout Antonio Coleman, a player who could both rush the passer from a down position while also dropping into space as a linebacker. Wanting the chance to play both linebacker and defensive end, the position is one that intrigued Savage from the start.

"It is really exciting knowing I can come off the edge and drop a little bit," Savage says. "I won't be just having my hand down every play. They told me they would just put me in the best position for me to succeed."

Savage notes that he plans to move to Auburn in June and get an early start on college classes. Commenting on how tough it was to make a decision after Tennessee had worked very hard to sign him, Savage says, ""It was extremely difficult knowing that Tennessee had put in all of that work. I am real close to the defensive coordinator and my position coach. Just knowing how time-consuming his job is. I guess I don't want to make it seem like all of it was in vain. It was just kind of hard knowing that."

He says the relationships he built at Auburn attending summer camps and on other visits helped him chose the Tigers. "That was important," Savage says. "When I got down there some of the players opened up to me and I felt like I had known them forever--like Sen'Derrick Marks. I have been talking to him since the beginning of my season. He is like one of my older brothers already."

Savage says he is looking forward to playing on the defense led by new coordinator Paul Rhoads. "It is real exciting knowing we are going in with a new defense and new coordinator. He's fresh and I am fresh. I guess that is a good thing. He is a good guy--a real good guy. He is a smart guy and I know he is ready to get this going."

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