Gadsden City standout defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick made the trip down 431 to Auburn along with teammates Kendall Kelly and Darrell Smith to check out Auburn's basketball game against Alabama and the first spring football practice. Kirkpatrick says for him the day went really well.
"It went pretty good," the 6-2, 185 Kirkpatrick tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I had a lot of fun down there. I just wanted to see what they improved in and what kind of things they need to pick up. I mainly wanted to see how they are filling things in.
"Everything is still the same with Auburn," he adds. "They're still playing that hard core defense and that's what I'm about. We play that in high school and that's what I'm about."
Having already visited Auburn several times during his junior year, Kirkpatrick got his first taste of new defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads on Sunday. While he says they have spoken before, Kirkpatrick says seeing him in action was something he was hoping for.
"He's a very good coach," Kirkpatrick notes. "He's got a mindset of what he wants them to do. He's trying to take them to another level."
Ranked a five-star prospect by Scout.com and likely to be one of the top five cornerback prospects in the country for next season, Kirkpatrick says he's hearing from schools from coast to coast with no leader emerging at the moment.
"I'm up to about 30 offers right now," Kirkpatrick says. "It's a little strange to be getting that much interest, coming from nothing and trying to be something."
With plans to camp at USC, Texas, Miami and several other schools, Kirkpatrick says he wants to have the chance to see schools he wouldn't normally experience over the summer just to get away. Because of that he says he'll likely wait a while before making a decision. When he does he says that what he's learned by watching teammate Jerrell Harris' recruiting should pay off for him when the time comes.
"I think it's more like an experience of when the pressure is on how will the coaches and schools react to the pressure," Kirkpatrick says. "Not necessarily how you'll react to the pressure, but how they react."
Kirkpatrick will make another trip to Auburn this spring on April 27 when he'll join many of the South's top prospects for a Scout Elite Camp where the focus is on football drills and competing in one-on-one and seven-on-seven settings.