Tigers Get "Love" From Linebacker Recruit

Jessel Curry returned to Auburn over the weekend and comments on his latest trip to check out Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers.

Buford, Ga.--Rising senior football prospect Jessel Curry, who says he had a blast in Auburn during the Big Cat Weekend last month, was back for another weekend on the Plains and says he is close to making a college pick.

The former West Virginia commitment says that Auburn is his strong leader and states that he is "in love with Auburn." He may be ready to announce his choice before long, he notes.

Curry says "it gets better every time" on his visits to the Auburn campus. "Within this week that is when I will decide," he says, noting he will talk it over with his parents and his brother Justin, who plays football at Valdosta State.

"I really like the people at Auburn, I like the coaches and I like the players," Curry says. "I feel comfortable with the people there."

Curry notes that his mother, who attended the Big Cat Weekend with him, is high on the Tigers, too, and he will be talking to his dad in the coming days about his interest in the Tigers. His father, Buddy Curry, was a star linebacker at North Carolina who played for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

The prospect notes that he likes Auburn head coach Gene Chizik as well as defensive coordinator Ted Roof and Tommy Thigpen, who recruits Buford High for the Tigers. Although he didn't participate in the two-day camp on the Auburn campus this weekend, Curry watched it and was particularly interested to see how Roof coached the campers because he would be Curry's position coach if he goes to Auburn.

"I got a feel how Coach Roof coaches and does things," he says. "He is a lot different than any other coaches, I think. He treats them like they are his son, basically. He doesn't really get on to them like I have seen other coaches do--F that, F that."

Jessel Curry is expected to start for a third straight year this fall for defending Georgia state champion Buford High.

Curry says he had fun hanging out with Auburn's current players and watching the campers, too. "If I had some cleats, I would have been out there," he says, adding that he tried to borrow shoes to go through the drills even though he just came down for the weekend to spend more time with the coaches.

"Coach Thigpen recruited my brother so he has a relationship with my dad because my dad watched him play football and grow up at UNC," Curry says about the Auburn assistant who was a three-time All-ACC player for the Tar Heels. "It has been a long time he has known Coach Thigpen."

Commenting on his earlier verbal to West Virginia, Curry says, "It was premature." He adds that he committed to the Mountaineers on a Thursday night, but the next morning Roof extended an offer from Auburn, something he was hoping to get.

"I have talked with West Virginia and I have been asked to be released, kind of, so I can go visit schools and they said yes. I have just got to figure things out."

Curry is a strong student and is on schedule to graduate in December. "I am going to be an early-in so in January I will be at where I am going to college so I will be able to go through spring practice then," he says.

Also being recruited by colleges as a fullback, he notes the Auburn coaching staff told him they are planning to sign four linebackers this year and they want him to be an outside linebacker for the Tigers. The Tigers already have verbal commitments from linebackers Jake Holland and Jawara White.

Commenting on Auburn, he says, "It is not too close to home and not too far away and I like the SEC."

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