Talented LB Likes What He Hears From AU

This talented linebacker prospect talks about his visit to Auburn on Saturday.

Bessemer, Ala.--A frequent visitor to Auburn throughout his life as the nephew of former Tiger standout James Owens, Jess Lanier linebacker Ladarius Owens took another visit to the Plains on Saturday to check out the first spring scrimmage. While in Auburn he also had the chance to sit down and talk with Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and his staff.

That combination of history and new blood in the coaching staff as well as the need at the linebacker position for the Tigers has them very much in the mix Owens says.

"It was real exciting," Owens says. "I was interested all day talking to the coaches. I went over the defensive playbook and talked with coach Ted Roof about what kind of scheme he wants to run and where I would fit in. The practice went really well. I see a lot of places where I could fit in on the defense. I could come in and play early. They don't have much depth.

"I just like the atmosphere. I have been at Auburn since I was a kid and it's just like coming home. It seems like they really need me. It seems like they could use me a lot and early. Gene Chizik seems real honest. All the coaches seem real honest and down to earth."

At 6-2, 227 with good speed, it's not a surprise that Owens already has offers from some of the top programs in the South. Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU and several others. With plenty of choices, he says right now he's focused on keeping it in state.

"To be honest with you it's between Alabama and Auburn right now," Owens says. "I just went to Alabama Friday. It's getting real tough. I kind of want to go ahead and decide, but then I'm not sure because I have yet to see LSU or Florida State. I'm just going to see those schools before I make a decision."

Something that Auburn has in its favor is the lack of numbers at the linebacker position. With just six scholarship players for three positions in spring practice, Owens says he didn't realize exactly how much the Tigers needed linebackers until his visit and that will play a big part in his decision.

"I didn't know exactly how the depth at the linebacker position was," Owens says. "I didn't know what kind of scheme he's (Roof) was looking forward to running, but doesn't really have the personnel to run it. I didn't realize how much they needed me until Saturday. It opened my eyes up a lot and I look forward to going back and see how everything goes this summer or whenever.

"I want to play early," he adds. "I want to get in and learn from experience rather than sitting and watching. You learn more from being out there. Another factor in it is I'm real close with Jake Holland and he committed. He's coming here and they're going to get a lot of recruits in the coming years. It would be big to be a part of the rebuilding of Auburn University."

With Holland and wide receiver Shaun Kitchens committing on Saturday, the Tigers picked up two solid prospects to jump start the 2010 class. Owens says you can feel the momentum building for Chizik and his staff on the recruiting trail.

"They are getting a lot of commits and a lot of good guys in," Owens says. "It seems like they are going in the right direction. It's going to be real exciting. I'm going to see where I fit in. I'll go in and think about my different options and see where I would like to go."

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