Linebacker Favors Tigers And Noles

One of the top linebackers in Georgia says that Auburn and Florida State are his top two at the moment.

Albany, Ga.--One of the top linebacker prospects in the South has narrowed his choices to a few select schools, but says that Auburn and Florida State are the leaders for his services at the moment. Dougherty High's Dana Graydon, a 6-1, 208 hard-hitting middle linebacker, has offers from all his top schools but notes that he does have favorites.

Dana Graydon

Growing up a fan of the Florida State Seminoles in Albany, Graydon says he's always considered them his top choice, but Auburn is currently running neck-and-neck with FSU right now with the Georgia Bulldogs not far behind. With visits set for Auburn (Jan. 17), Florida State (Jan. 10), Georgia (tentative date) and South Carolina(tentative date) in the month of January he'll have a chance to measure the schools against each other before making his decision.

"My favorites are Auburn and Florida State," he tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I like their work ethic," he notes of Auburn. "I like how their defense gets after the ball. I pretty much like the whole environment."

With in-home visits well underway Graydon says that he's had a chance to meet with coaches from all his favorites. Both offensive line coach Hugh Nall, who recruits the Albany area for the Tigers, and Coach Joe Whitt, Auburn's linebacker coach, have been to see him in the last week as well as coaches from Florida State and Georgia.

"We had a pretty good conversation," Graydon says of his visits with the Auburn coaches. "They ate real good. Coach Whitt and Coach Nall just pretty much told me how it was and how it would be at school."

A very mature kid who knows what he's looking for out of a school, Graydon had a chance to see Auburn, Georgia and Florida State this summer when he attended camps at all three schools. But things will be different on official visits and he says that if he likes what he sees during the weekend he won't hesitate to pull the trigger on his commitment.

"I would probably go ahead and commit if it's up to my standards," Graydon says. "If it's what I'm looking for. I'm looking at classroom sizes and the teaching environment. I want to see how teachers get along with their students. I'm just pretty much looking at the environment in the whole city. I want to see how the city itself is and the kind of environment I'll be around for the next four years."

After a junior season that produced 105 tackles, 12 sacks, five fumble recoveries and five caused fumbles, Graydon was hoping for bigger and better things as a senior. Those numbers were good enough to earn him first team All-State honors last year, an honor he'll likely receive again this season despite a tough year for his team.

"My season didn't go as good as planned, but we did pretty good defensive-wise I would say," Graydon says. "Our final record was 4-6. This season I had over 100 tackles with eight sacks, three caused fumbles and three fumble recoveries."

Graydon is projected as an outside linebacker in college, but says some schools are recruiting him to play in the middle for them. His best 40-yard dash time is a 4.62, good enough to remain outside on the collegiate level. Tiger Ticket Extra: Planning to major in engineering, Graydon says that he's fully qualified and has already reached his test score. A track star in addition to his duties on the football field, Graydon runs the 4x100 relay, the 4x400 relay and throws the discus for Dougherty. His best throw is 120 feet.

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