Juco Defensive Back Weighing Options

This former Auburn signee says the Tigers are one of the schools he is looking at right now.

El Dorado, Kan.--A name from the past has reappeared on the recruiting watch this season for the Auburn Tigers as defensive back David Irons Jr. from Butler County Community College has emerged as one of the top players in the Jayhawk Conference this season.

The 6-0, 180 cornerback with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash tells Inside the Auburn Tigers that several schools are talking to him at the moment and one Southern school currently is in the lead for his services.

"Right now I'm hearing from Florida State, South Carolina has thrown me an offer, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia, UAB, South Florida and North Carolina," Irons says. "That's it right now. Nobody knew I was at junior college. Some people thought I was redshirted at Auburn so a lot of people are starting to call a lot.

"I'm leaning towards Florida State right now," Irons says. "South Carolina and Auburn are also in the picture right now. South Carolina is in the running because my brother (Kenny) is a running back there. I also know people there and I know I can come in there and play right away. The defensive backs they have up there don't have anything on me."

A signee with the Auburn Tigers two seasons ago out of Dacula, Ga., High, Irons was one of the top running back prospects in the South with his combination of vision and speed. The son of a former NFL player, he showed the ability to make big play after big play when he was healthy. As a junior he rushed for 1,337 yards and 20 touchdowns on 148 carries and added 277 yards receiving and five touchdowns through the air. His senior season was a disappointment as injuries kept him from being full speed much of the season. Still he managed to gain 710 yards on just 83 carries and score 10 touchdowns.

Failing to qualify, Irons went to Butler County and was immediately switched to defensive back, a position the coaches thought would be a natural for him. The move paid dividends early in the fall when he was impressive enough to be named the starter in preseason. However, a knee injury brought his season to an end before it began, putting him on the road to recovery.

Back stronger than ever, he started and played every game as a redshirt freshman this season. Leading Butler County to a perfect 10-0 record in the regular season, Irons currently has five interceptions and 13 pass breakups. With a record of 11-1, Butler County is preparing to face Dixie College in Utah on Dec. 7 after missing out on a playoff bid for the national title. Irons says he's been solid this season despite having to learn the defense all over again.

"It didn't go as I planned it," Irons says. "I wish I had a better season, but it was pretty good considering I was coming back off a knee injury. Playing defensive back is all right. I knew it wasn't going to be tough on me because I had played it in high school and in the backyard with my boys. I knew I was going to be the next little Deion or ‘Prime' as they call me. It was just getting used to the defense. That was the only thing that troubled me during the season. Once I got used to the defense it was a piece of cake after that."

David Irons, Jr.

Scheduled to be a May 2003 graduate from junior college, Irons is looking to make a decision sometime in January but it appears Auburn won't be one of the teams in the final mix. Looking for players that can come to Auburn in January and go through spring practice, Irons doesn't afford them that option and that could mean he moves on in another direction when Signing Day comes around.

"I talked to them way back during the season when they came to watch a game," Irons says of the Auburn coaches. "I haven't talked to them in a while though."

Tiger Ticket Extra While Florida State is in the lead for his services at the moment, don't be surprised if Irons is a Gamecock when all is said and done. In addition to having his younger brother Kenny already on board in Columbia, current Butler County teammate Marcus Lawrence is already committed to Lou Holtz and company.

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