Tide Commitment Takes Another Look at Auburn

Linebacker Jonathan Atchison decided to take an official visit to check out Gene Chizik's Auburn Tigers.

Atlanta, Ga.--Jonathan Atchison, who was previously committed to Auburn and switched to Alabama after the coaching change at AU, was in Auburn over the weekend for an official visit to meet the Tigers' new coaching staff.

His uncle, former South Carolina State linebacker and tight end John Williams, brought the Douglass High star to the Auburn campus and says the visit went well, but notes that Atchison is still committed to the Tide "as of now," Williams says.

However, it is not a done deal that the linebacker will play for the Crimson Tide. Williams says he is "pretty sure" that Atchison is going to wait until signing day (February 4th) to announce his college destination.

Williams says the fact that Atchison decided to make an official visit means the Tigers are back in the mix. "Like we were telling the coaches, it is just something he has got to go back home and think about and pray about. The decision is up to him. He has to do what is best for him for the next three, four or five years or whatever."

Williams also made the official visit to Tuscaloosa with Atchison and says he and his nephew enjoyed both trips. "I just came to Auburn to basically to support him," Atchison's uncle notes.

"We came over to Auburn in the summer. The visit this weekend is probably the third or fourth time we have been over to Auburn in the last year and we have been to Tuscaloosa a few times."

Williams notes that Scout.com's 16th-ranked strongside linebacker is down to the Tigers and the Tide. "The thing about it the way it stands is that Jonathan can't make a bad decision with either one," he says, adding that the high school senior had a good visit to Auburn. "I know he did," he notes.

Atchison wasn't told who will be the linebacker coach for the Tigers and spent time talking to defensive coordinator Ted Roof about where he would fit in with the Tigers. "Coach Roof said that he would like to spend some time with the linebackers if all possible," Williams says. "That is probably what is going to happen." New head coach Gene Chizik has not announced who will coach the linebackers yet and has two more slots to fill for his on-the-field coaching staff.

Jonathan Atchison

The 6-3, 215-pounder earned first team All-State honors as a senior after having a strong junior performance. He is a player the Tigers have been recruiting for more than a year.

"Jonathan got there on Friday and he got a chance to meet the coaching staff and everything--you know, a new staff," Williams says of the official visit. "He spent some time there during the summer and everything and they wanted to get him over there to meet them because back when he was originally going through the process there was something about the place he enjoyed. He just wanted to come by and get to see the coaching staff and see what they had to offer him and everything.

"Since Coach Tub (Tommy Tuberville) and his staff have been out, he didn't know anything about anybody who was here," Williams says. "The facilities and the place are the same. It is just new people."

Williams notes that playing time isn't going to be a factor for his nephew's choice and points out that both Auburn's and Alabama's coaches are saying that Atchison is good enough to play immediately.

"We know that with his ability he has got the opportunity to play early," Williams adds. "That is not a factor because whatever school he goes to we know he is going to get on the field."

Asked if the visit to Auburn has got the Tigers back in the picture, he says, "Possibly. We will see."

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