Speedy Juco Defensive Player To Visit Auburn

A long road has led this talented junior college football standout to Auburn this weekend.

Berkeley, S.C.--It's very rare for a person to sit out of school for an extended period of time and return to have a successful career, but that's just what junior college defensive end Doug Langenfeld has done since leaving South Carolina for sunny California almost two years ago.

A successful high school athlete at Monck's Corner High, he failed to qualify out of high school. Despite being a 6-3, 250-pound linebacker/offensive lineman with tremendous speed and athleticism, Langenfeld didn't receive much attention from college coaches and decided that college wasn't the place for him. But just over a year later he asked his high school coach to find a junior college for him and Reedley College was the school that wound up with the fortune of getting a future All-American defensive end handed to them with very little effort on their part.

Doug Langenfeld

"My high school coach told me he was going to find me a junior college to go to," Langenfeld tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I didn't care where it was. The coach from Reedley called my high school coach and then they both called me. He told me about Reedley and I told him I was coming."

That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship for both Langenfeld and Reedley. Despite making the move from linebacker to defensive end, Langenfeld said that his toughest job was convincing himself that his layoff wouldn't make it impossible for him to compete right away.

"I sat out of football for two years," he said. "At first it was tough because I didn't think I would be able to play with a lot of guys just coming out of high school. I just put my mind to it and I got out and worked hard. The coaches had confidence in me and my ability and I knew then I could play."

While he might not have known right away he could play, his natural talents didn't take too long to shine through. Using speed in the sub 4.5 range despite weighing 250 pounds, he was able to rack up 40 tackles and six sacks while learning to play with his hand on the ground. That experience only set the stage for a tremendous sophomore season that made the college coaches stand up and take notice.

Leading Reedley to a perfect 12-0 season and the California State Community College Football Championship, Langenfeld finished the year with 13 ½ sacks and 72 tackles despite constant double-teaming. He says the experience he gained as a freshman set the stage for his breakout season in 2002.

"From going 4-6 to 12-0 and being the number one ranked junior college team in the country," he says, "that was a big reward for us."

Done with his sophomore season and hoping to get a chance to play major college football, Langenfeld says that he has a wide range of schools he's considering at the moment. One of those is the Auburn Tigers, who will get a visit out of the star defensive end this weekend.

"In addition to Auburn I'm looking at Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Oregon and Tennessee," he notes. "I spoke to Coach (Terry) Price and Coach (Gene) Chizik and they were telling me they needed depth on the defensive line and how they just put guys there. To watch them beat Penn State was nice. I was impressed because they worked hard. Hopefully, I can be a part of something like that."

Langenfeld has already taken three official visits to Oregon, Tennessee and Nebraska. With some experience under his belt visiting various campuses, he says that he has a specific thing to look for and find out when he gets to the school he's visiting.

"I want to see how well the players get along with the coaches," Langenfeld notes. "I want to see how the players like it there. The coaches can tell you how things are going to be, but the players are the ones that have to go to class and the meetings and play in the games. I just want to take all my visits and see where I'm most comfortable."

His final visit is still a mystery. A native of South Carolina, Langenfeld had the Gamecocks at or near the top of his list for quite some time, but a recent coaching change has him perhaps searching for other options.

"My final visit is to South Carolina," Langenfeld says. "But Coach (Charlie) Strong, he's now coaching at Florida. That last visit, he wants me to take it to Florida. I have already set it for South Carolina, but that could change."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Langenfeld is expected to be a May graduate from junior college and has three years to play two.

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