Highly Regarded Juco Lineman Likes Tigers

This nationally-recruited junior college defensive tackle has Auburn among his finalists.

Booneville, Miss.--Getting a big defensive tackle whois able to play right away is one of the top priorities for the Auburn Tigers in this year's recruiting class.

One of the guys whocould fill that spot is junior college All-American Eric Holcombe from Northeast Mississippi Community College. At 6-3 ½, 291 with speed in the 4.7 range in the 40-yard dash, he has schools from all over the country courting him for his services, but he tells Inside The Auburn Tigers that he has narrowed it down to just three schools.

"Right now it's just Auburn, Florida and Ole Miss," Holcombe says. "I would say Auburn and Florida are neck-and-neck right now with Ole Miss a little behind."

A Mobile native who played high school football at Davidson High, Holcombe says he is familiar with the Auburn program and that makes them a strong contender to get his signature later this month after he graduates from Northeast.

"I really like the coaching staff and I'm from Alabama," Holcombe says of Auburn. "I've been an Auburn fan all my life. The coaching staff they have, I believe they can help me. I think that would be a good spot for me." Holcombe also said the lack of depth at defensive tackle for the Tigers would play a big part in his decision after he takes visits to each of his three schools of choice in the next two weeks.

With visits set for Florida this coming weekend and Auburn on Dec. 13, Holcombe says that will give him an idea of what he's looking for at each campus and school. He had a visit to Tennessee scheduled for the 11th of December, but has since cancelled that since eliminating the Volunteers.

"Florida is in the Top 10 every year," Holcombe says of his reasons for visiting Florida. "They need defensive linemen too and I believe I can go in there and start. Their lack of depth is short like Auburn as well."

A powerful player who has been a dominant force since his senior season at Davidson when he had 108 tackles and 12 sacks as a 275-pound defensive tackle, Holcombe says his speed and quickness is his best asset playing tackle against players usually bigger than him.

"I think I stop the run the best," Holcombe says. "My quickness off the ball allows me to make plays in the middle."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Holcombe is considered by many in the recruiting field to be the top junior college defensive tackle in the country this season. A December graduate, he would be eligible to practice with the Tigers during bowl practices and will make his official visit to the Plains on Dec. 13, the day Auburn returns to the practice field.

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