In-State Linebacker Prospect Picks Auburn

Auburn has picked up its fifth public verbal commitment for the 2009 signee class. Details, including game video, are featured in this report.

Birmingham, Ala.--Linebacker Harris Gaston, who received a scholarship offer from Auburn in March, committed to the Tigers after taking an unofficial visit to the AU campus on Tuesday.

The 6-3, 210-pounder from AISA state champion Bessemer Academy, who has been a football starter since ninth grade, says he has been very interested in the Tiger program for a while and likes the way Auburn plays defense.

"When I came down to Auburn to visit the campus today I was thinking about committing," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I toured the facilities, both the athletic ones and around the rest of the campus, and I decided that I wanted to go ahead and commit. I feel good about my decision."

Playing in a 4-3 defensive front, the same system the Tigers use, 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. Recruiting linebackers is a major point of emphasis for the 2009 signee class for Coach Tommy Tuberville and his staff. He notes that Tuberville and Terry Price, who recruits the Birmingham area for the Tigers, made it clear that Gaston is a priority recruit for Auburn.

Gaston is also a standout on the Bessemer Academy basketball team, too, and was named his team's Most Valuable Player as a junior.

"I decided I wanted to get recruiting over with early," Gaston says. "My last offer came last week from Kentucky. I like Auburn. I like everything about Auburn.

"Talking to (linebackers) coach James Willis, he says he believes I can play all three of their linebacker positions," the Bessemer Academy star says. "I think I will probably be an outside linebacker."

Harris, who made the visit to the Auburn campus on Tuesday with his father, notes that he is still growing. He has added 10 pounds and grown an inch recent months. "I am not sure how big I am going to be," he says.

Academics shouldn't be an issue for the linebacker, who is an honor student. "I haven't decided what I want to major in at Auburn," he says.

Other colleges recruiting Gaston include Miami, Vanderbilt Georgia Tech and hometown UAB.

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