Winter To Get Late Spring Start in College

A report on award-winning Auburn football signee is featured.

Tampa, Fla.--Auburn signee Derek Winter plans on getting an early start to his college football career and notes that he will be heading to the AU campus shortly after graduating from Plant High School this month.

"I am moving to Auburn on the 17th," the wide receiver says.

Winter notes that Auburn assistants Greg Knox, who will be his position coach in college, and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin stopped by his high school to say hello while they were in the Tampa area checking out 2009 recruits.

"They told me they want me to be ready to play this fall," says Winter, who caught 192 career passes in high school for more than 4,000 yards from his wide receiver spot.

Winter, who didn't participate in any spring sports, has not been idle since signing with the Tigers in February. He has been concentrating on his grades and working on his strength and conditioning. He has had success in both areas.

He will graduate with a perfect grade point average and recently was honored as the outstanding student athlete for Hillsborough County by the National Football Foundation. "Winning the scholar-athlete award is a big honor for me," he notes.

Winter, who selected Auburn over Virginia, Illinois, South Florida, Iowa, Georgia Tech and other colleges, also won the Guy Toph Trophy as the Player of the Year for the Tampa area. He notes that he is a little bigger than he was last fall. "I have gained about 10 pounds and I weigh around 200," he notes.

As a senior the six-foot-one receiver caught 75 passes for 1,668 yards and 18 touchdowns and drew the interest of Auburn coaches who began recruiting relatively late in process. Winter's high school coach, Robert Weiner, says the AU coaches are getting a good player.

"You talk about guys who are total and complete at their position and he really is," says Weiner, who notes that Winter is a smart football player in addition to being an honor student. "He's able to do it all for us," the coach says. "He was able to catch balls at all three levels, deep, intermediate, and short routes."

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