Top In-State Linebacker Likes Tigers

One of the top defenders in Alabama talks about his experience watching the Auburn-Alabama game over the weekend.

Northport, Ala.--While much of the attention this recruiting season has been focused on defensive linemen, a pressing need for the Auburn Tigers in the Class of 2003 is to sign at least two and possibly three linebackers to fill the voids left by Mark Brown, who is a senior, and both Dontarrious Thomas and Karlos Dansby, who will be seniors next season.

One of the players on Auburn's wish list at the position is 6-1, 205 Terrance Jones from Tuscaloosa County High. An All-State performer as a junior and expected to be the same after a senior season in which he had over 120 tackles and five sacks, Jones is considered one of the top defensive players in Alabama this season. With offers from several of the top schools in the South, he says that he's narrowed it down to four schools at the moment.

Terrance Jones

"The schools that it will probably come down to are Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss," Jones tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Basically I'm just looking for a chance at a place where I can play more than a year or so. I want to contribute early in my football career, maybe redshirt the first year and have a chance to play the next year. Basically I'm looking for playing time."

A visitor in Tuscaloosa Saturday for Auburn's game against archrival Alabama, Jones says he was very impressed by what he saw on the field out of the Tiger defense. Holding the top offense in the SEC to just seven points was something he says he didn't see coming.

"Auburn just played great," Jones says. "Talking to the Auburn coaches a while back they were talking about how hard it was going to be to play Bama but they were ready. They had everything down that Bama was going to do and they shut them down. Their defense was very impressive to me."

A player that has shown a solid interest in Auburn since attending a summer camp on the Plains, Jones says he likes the situation he sees in the program at the moment. He was especially impressed by what he saw two weeks ago on a visit to the Auburn-Georgia game. With true freshman Tyrone Martin sidelined with a neck injury that will keep him out of football and just Travis Williams, Antarrious Williams and converted running back Derrick Graves currently playing at the outside positions behind Thomas and Dansby, the chance for early playing time is something he'll definitely consider.

"I looked at the depth chart and it's not too deep at the position I'll be playing," Jones says. "That makes them look pretty good. Plus I was down there for the Auburn-Georgia game and the stadium atmosphere on game day, the Tiger Walk, and everything was very impressive. I liked it there. It showed me how wild the fans were and how much they love Auburn Tiger football. It gave me a look at what kind of atmosphere I would playing in if I was to come there."

Scheduled to take an official visit to UAB on Dec. 6 and Ole Miss on Jan. 18, Jones says he's waiting to hear from both Auburn and Alabama on the dates they want him to visit their respective campuses. Having visited both during the summer for camps, he says that he wants to see how things are at both when school is in session.

Jones has already seen the ins-and-outs of the recruiting world through the eyes of teammate LeRon McClain. A commitment to Alabama earlier in the year, the fullback is a close friend but Jones says that won't factor in his decision at all.

"Before he committed and all the attention was focused on him we talked about going to the same school," Jones says of his teammate. "After the situation he had where he had the opportunity to play at Bama and I wasn't sure about the opportunities I had we kind of backed away from talking about playing together. He told me to go wherever I wanted to go and where I felt good. We're cool with that."

Tiger Ticket Extra: In addition to being a three-year starter for the Wildcats in football, Jones is also a standout on the track team at Tuscaloosa County. With personal-best times of 10.7 in the 100M hurdles and 42.0 in the 300M hurdles he possesses the kind of rare combination of size and speed defensive coaches look for these days. As a junior he had 117 tackles and seven sacks.

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