Defensive End Commits To Tigers

The Auburn Tigers picked up their 10th verbal commitment for the Class of 2003 from one of the top junior college players in the country.

Coffeyville, Kan.--Junior college defensive end Tony McClain from Coffeyville Community College decided he had waited long enough. After visiting Auburn this past weekend for the Georgia game along with current teammate and Auburn verbal Brandon Jacobs, the 6-3, 250 McClain had thought it over enough.

"I called and told the Auburn coaches at about 2:30 this afternoon," McClain tells Inside The Auburn Tigers on when he made his final decision. "I weighed my options and looked at things. It was a place where I knew I could help a good team out. I just thought about that I could go there and help those guys out a lot."

Tony McClain

A December graduate from Coffeyville, McClain says the decision to commit now came in large part because he wanted to concentrate on his classes and finishing up strong in school. The prospect of coming to Auburn immediately and participating in bowl practices was also a strong draw for McClain. He chose the Tigers over Arkansas, Florida, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kansas.

A former kick returner and linebacker in Texas as a high school player, McClain decided to go the junior college route to get bigger and stronger for the next level. It appears to have been a wise move. After redshirting his freshman year, he has dominated the line of scrimmage this season for Coffeyville with 18 sacks in 10 games. With 4.57 speed in the 40-yard dash, he has the size and quickness to be an immediate help for Auburn next season at end. He has three seasons of eligibility after redshirting as a freshman.

While he says he knew Auburn was the place he wanted to play for the next two seasons, McClain notes that he still needed to talk things out with some important people before making the final decision.

"I talked it over with my parents," McClain says. "I tallked with my mom, my dad, and my older brother to see how they liked it. They just told me they would support me behind anything I wanted to do. I wanted to play in the SEC so I decided to stay down south and play."

Auburn's other commitments are 6-1, 170 kicker John Vaughn from Brentwood, Tenn., Academy; 6-5, 230 tight end Cole Bennett from Dalton, Ga., High; 5-10, 165 wide receiver Bruce Edwards from Columbus, Miss., High; 6-4 1/2, 257 tailback Brandon Jacobs from Coffeyville, Kan., Community College; 6-4, 225 defensive end Viciente DeLoach from Columbus, Miss., High; 6-4, 225 Lloyd Blevins from Wenonah High, Birmingham; 6-2, 205 running back Carl Stewart from Maryville, Tenn., High; 6-1, 218 running back Jason Jude from Athens, Ala., High and 6-1, 289 defensive lineman Josh Thompson from Statesboro, Ga., High.


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