Defensive Players Taking Official Visits to AU

A Magnolia state high school football star is scheduled to be among the prospects taking official visits to Auburn for the Georgia game weekend.

Greenville, Miss.--With the losses of Steven Bouldin, Doug Morris and Brian Kuhn before the season even began and off-and-on injuries to Reggie Torbor and Jay Ratliff during the 2002 season, the Auburn Tigers are looking for help at defensive end. One of the players who could fill that void next season is standout Quentin Groves from Weston High School.

A 6-3 ½, 230-pound rush end with a best time of 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, Groves has become a hot topic on the recruiting trail this season. Scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn this weekend when the Tigers are hosts to the Georgia Bulldogs, Groves says that he likes Auburn and the opportunity he could have on the Plains.

"I like the tradition," Groves tells Inside The Auburn Tigers, "the tradition of winning. I like Tommy Tuberville and Coach (Greg) Knox has really influenced me a lot along with Coach (Terry) Price."

Mentioning that the lack of depth at defensive end is something he's looked at long and hard with the Auburn program, Groves says the Tigers are a team he's very interested in considering. Also looking at Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Ole Miss, he notes that he doesn't have a favorite. "My options are wide open," he says.

Groves is shown in a photo taken at the 2002 Nike Combine in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

A dominating defensive end as well as part-time tight end, Groves led his team to only a 6-5 record this season despite putting up impressive stats. With 21 sacks and 60 tackles along with three catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns, Groves displayed a knack for making the big play this season. A two-year starter, he says he improved his techniques before his senior season allowing him to control the line of scrimmage on defense. As a junior he led Class 5A in sacks with 14 and had 97 tackles.

A multi-sport athlete who excels in powerlifting, track and basketball, Groves has been a key perfomer for his school in several sports. With a personal best squat of 535 pounds along with a bench press of 295 and a dead lift of 525, he has proven he can handle his own in the weight room. In track he throws the discus and has an impressive throw of 147 feet, seven inches in that event. A starter in basketball as well at power forward, Groves is an all-around athlete who should excel on the collegiate level when concentrating on one sport.

A solid student who is waiting on the results of his second ACT score after making a 16 on his first attempt, Groves says that there are several things he's looking for in the school of his choice. Planning to major in either computer science or business, he says there are some things more important than football.

"I'm looking to see if the coaching staff is Christian," Groves says. "I'm also looking at the graduation rate of players and the academic programs they have. Of course, the depth chart is something I'm looking at to see if I have a chance to play when I come in."

Groves teams with Devrick Hampton to form one of the best defensive line tandems in the entire country. Saying that the two would like to play together on the next level and Hampton is interested in Auburn, Groves notes his teammate doesn't have a visit set up to Auburn at this time. Tiger Ticket Extra: Groves is one of five official visitors expected on the Auburn campus this weekend. Joining him will be verbal commitment Brandon Jacobs, a 6-4 1/2, 257 junior college tailback from Coffeyville, Kansas originally from Napoleonville, La. Also in town is Jacob's teammate Tony McClain, a 6-2, 265 defensive end with 4.69 speed and a nose for the football. He is originally from Rosenberg, Texas. Defensive end Stanley McClover is in as well. One of the top ends in the country, the 6-4, 235 McClover attends Auburn pipeline Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rounding out the group is defensive end Tranell Morant from Braddock High in Miami. In 10 games this season, the 6-5, 265 Morant totaled 19 sacks in his first full season as a defensive player.

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