Gaston Comments On Trip to Auburn

An interview and highlight video of linebacker prospect Harris Gaston is featured.

Birmingham, Ala.--Harris Gaston, who received a scholarship offer from Auburn in March, took an unofficial visit to the AU campus on Saturday to watch the Tigers' annual spring football game and received plenty of attention from the coaching staff on his visit.

"I talked to Coach (Terry) Price, Coach (James) Willis, Coach (Tommy) Tuberville and the wide receivers coach (Greg Knox)," Gaston says.

Price recruits the Birmingham area where Gaston is one of the top prospects along with the linebacker's teammate, wide receiver Brandon Heavens, who made the trip to Auburn with Gaston.

"Coach Tuberville told us that Auburn is a great school and that he really wants us to play for his team," Gaston says of his conversation with the head coach.

Like Tuberville, linebacker coach Willis made it clear to Gaston that he is wanted by the Tigers. "Coach Willis told us that I would have a chance to play next year," says Gaston, who notes that Willis pointed out the Tigers will be losing key players to graduation and that linebacker is a priority area for the 2009 signee class.

The 6-2, 200-pounder from AISA state champion Bessemer Academy has been a high school starter since ninth grade. He made 112 tackles as a junior. He can also line up at safety and defensive end.

Being recruited by colleges as a linebacker with his 4.6 40-yard dash speed, Gaston received his first scholarship offer back in January from the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

In addition to his ability on the field, colleges like the fact that he is an honor student in the classroom. He toured Auburn's academic facilities on his A-Day trip to the campus.

Gaston showed another aspect of his athletic ability earlier in his junior year with a strong performance for the Bessemer Academy basketball team, earning his team's Most Valuable Player award.

Auburn and Mississippi State are not the only colleges recruiting him. "I am hearing from Georgia Tech, UAB, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and the Miami Hurricanes," he says.

Gaston notes he doesn't have a favorite. "I am open," he says. "Auburn and Mississippi State are recruiting me the hardest. Coach Price told me they need guys who can run to the football."

As he prepares for spring training, Gaston says he has improved his quickness and speed and will continue to work on that part of his game. He says his strength is "reading" what the offense is trying to do.

The linebacker says he plans to attend some summer football camps prior to his senior season, but hasn't decided yet which ones to go to.

Auburn picked up a verbal commitment on Tuesday evening from another prospect who was a star in the AISA last fall, Faith Academy quarterback Raymond Cotton. Harris has a good scouting report on the big QB.

"We played his team twice last season," says Gaston, whose Bessemer Academy squad beat Faith Academy in the regular season and again in championship game. "He is a terrific player who can pass and run well. We set up our defense to defend him."

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