College Coaches Flock to See Top Defenders

Several college coaches checked out Ladarius Owens, Jake Holland and Nigel Terrell on Friday night.

Pelham, Ala.—Three of the top defenders in the state of Alabama were on display Friday night as Jess Lanier High School visited Pelham High School to finish their spring practices with a scrimmage. Several college coaches from the southeast were in attendance as well as some other top prospects in the Birmingham area.

Auburn's Tommy Thigpen, Florida State's Chuck Amato and Tennessee' Monte Kiffin and Lance Thompson were among those who went to watch Pelham linebackers Jake Holland and Nigel Terrell and Lanier defensive end Ladarius Owens.

"It ups the competition level," Owens says of having college coaches on hand. "It kind of makes it into a playoff atmosphere. Everyone is giving it their all trying to get the recognition. Everyone is trying to get out there and show what they can do."

Owens, who is being recruited by most schools as a linebacker and others as an end, has offers from Auburn, FSU, Tennessee and several more. He visited Auburn multiple times during the spring and wants to visit Knoxville, Tallahassee and Baton Rouge before making a decision.

Holland has already made his decision and is a commitment to Auburn. He admits he's working on getting others committed to the Tigers as well.

"I went out to dinner with Ladarius Owens last night (Thursday night) and we had a little visit," Holland explains. "I've been talking to Nigel too and trying to get them on board."

Terrell was busy with football and track during the spring, so his only unofficial visit recently was to Auburn. He left the Plains uncommitted but said that he nearly pulled the trigger on his visit. Now up to eight offers, Terrell says he expects to end the recruiting process sometime soon.

Terrell, #26, plays weakside linebacker while Holland, #5, plays in the middle.

Though it was just a spring game on Friday night, Terrell says he enjoyed playing in front of the college coaches.

"It is a fun experience," he states. "I've never had publicity like this, but I also think it's because of Jake and Ladarius Owens that brings the scouts out, too."

Spain Park defensive tackle Jeremiah Jackson was at Pelham High on Friday. A pair of Oak Mountain teammates were also in attendance–middle linebacker Whit Whitfield and tight end Davis Dudchock, who just picked up a scholarship offer from Troy, his seventh offer.

Stay tuned to and Inside the Auburn Tigers for more stories on Owens, Holland and Terrell this week.

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