Road Trip to AU Impresses Highly Rated OT

One of the nation's top offensive tackle prospects talks about his visit to Auburn to check out the Tigers.

Memphis, Tenn.--Rated as the nation's number seven offensive tackle by Scout.com, 6-6, 270 Austin Long from Briarcrest Christian School is already a hot commodity in recruiting circles around the country.

Up to 12 offers from some of the top programs in the country, Long took to the road last week to check out some of the colleges that have shown him the most interest early in the recruiting process. Along with visits to Florida and Florida State, Jones also visited Auburn last Wednesday to tour the campus and check out the final scrimmage of spring practice.

"It was really good," Long tells Inside The Auburn Tigers of his trip to Auburn. "I had never been there before. We got to drive around in a golf cart and see the campus. It was really, really nice. It was a sunny day. We got to meet with the academic advisor for academics and talk with him about the classes I would take with my major. That was good."

After the tour of the campus and the academic side of things available at Auburn, Long spent the majority of the afternoon talking with Auburn offensive line coach Hugh Nall as well as several of the other coaches before the scrimmage later that night. Long says that gave him a good feel about what to expect should he choose Auburn.

"I got to kind of establish a relationship there because it was the first time I have met him," Long says of Nall. "We had just talked on the phone before that. He's really good. I liked him a lot. He's a good coach and from what I can tell the players love him and he loves his players. He's kind of up-tempo and that's good because who isn't these days.

Austin Long

"I met pretty much everybody," he adds. "I got to talk to Coach (Tommy) Tuberville on the field before the scrimmage. That was the first time I had met him and he was pretty cool. I like him a lot."

That led up to the scrimmage and a chance for Long to see Auburn's team in action. With the offense having a big night led by quarterback Kodi Burns in Tony Franklin's system, Long says he was impressed by what he saw from the Tigers.

"I watched all of it," Long says. "It was good. The offense looked real good. We sat in the bleachers. It was the first time I have been in the stadium and I can't imagine it on a Saturday night. It was cool. Hopefully, I'll get to go to a game this year."

With offers from Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Tennessee among the dozen schools, Long says he's scheduled to trip to Tuscaloosa this coming weekend for Alabama's A-Day game and after that he hopes to narrow down his list of schools heading into the summer.

"I'm just kind of taking it all in right now," Long says. "I'm looking to narrow it down to seven or eight here in a couple of weeks hopefully."

A starter since the 10th grade at offensive tackle, Long earned First Team All-Region honors as a junior for Briarcrest and is considered a four-star prospect early in the recruiting rankings. Built similarly to Auburn's Lee Ziemba, Long's description of his play leaves little doubt he'll be a player to watch as the 2008 season unfolds.

"I think my strengths are quick feet and long arms for pass blocking," Long says. "I'm pretty aggressive. I love run blocking. The offense we run they pull the tackles a lot so I pull all the time."


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