Tigers Offer Sunshine State Receiver

Derek Winter was voted the top football player in the Tampa area and Thursday night he got an offer from the Auburn Tigers.

Tampa, Fla.--H.B. Plant standout wide receiver Derek Winter took an official visit to Auburn two weeks ago without an offer, but on Thursday night he got what he had been looking for from the Tigers as they extended an offer says Plant Head Coach Robert Weiner.

"Auburn just offered yesterday so that's the latest offer for him," Weiner tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "After the visit they made an official offer."

With an offer in hand from the Tigers, Winter is continuing to visit as he made a trip during the week and is currently on another official visit. Weiner says right now it looks to be a race between three schools with Auburn right in the mix.

"He had taken a trip to Iowa before and really liked it there. He took an official mid-week visit to Florida this week, but has not been offered a scholarship. In terms of them being in the mix like that they're really not a factor at this point. It's kind of apples versus oranges on that.

"He's on a trip, he just left today, to the University of Virginia," he adds. "That's not a tell-tale sign or anything like that. Auburn offered yesterday and Derek was committed to seeing everything through that had been planned. He's there today. He liked Iowa a lot, but geographically I probably think Auburn and UVA are probably the two that are most in the running."

One of the more productive wide receivers in the country his last two years, Winter's name has come on late in recruiting circles with schools looking to land not only a good football player, but also a player that will quality and be on campus this year. In 2007 Winter was awarded the Guy Toph Award for the best football player in Hillsborough County.

He caught 75 passes for 1,668 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior season and for his career totaled over 4,000 yards and 44 touchdowns through the air. Winter was selected Florida Sports Writers Assocation All-State First Team . Weiner says because of all of his positives Winter has some big-time programs to choose from with Auburn and Virginia likely the top two.

"Derek is a really, really outstanding student as well as a great player," Weiner says. "UVA being ranked the number one public school in the country is something that is attractive to him, but of course the combination of a good school and a great SEC and national championship contention football is a great draw for Auburn too."

Currently visiting Charlottesville, Weiner says Winter will try to make a decision as soon as possible upon his return to Tampa. With signing day approaching and schools looking to finish up their classes, Weiner says it's important for them to let his decision be known as soon as possible.

"He'll weigh those things out after his trip to UVA," Weiner says. "We'll come and talk it out when he gets back and see what he wants to do. He's got offers from Virginia, Iowa, Auburn and USF.

"I think he'll make his decision before (signing day)," Weiner says. "He's got great relations both with the guys at Auburn and UVA and Iowa. If he's not going to be their guy he wants to give them every opportunity to get their next guy. Signing day is not like it's used to be. I think you've got a responsibility to some of these other people. As soon as Derek makes his decision we're going to let that be known just to be fair to the places he doesn't go and be fair to the place he does go so they don't have to look for their next guy."

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