Howard Excited About Commitment to Auburn

Lincoln athlete D.J. Howard made a visit to Auburn on Saturday.

Lincoln, Ala.--Auburn continued a strong recruiting week on Monday morning as standout athlete D.J. Howard announced his decision to be a Tiger.

With offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State and others, Howard has his choice of multiple destinations but he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers that Auburn feels like the place he belongs.

Howard says it was important that he and his mother (Teresa Gaines) feel comfortable with the decision. "It's real big, especially for my mom so she doesn't have to pay for me to go to college," he points out.

"It is a great move for me so I get a chance to play on the next level," he adds. "I think it a real good move for me."

Howard says his multiple visits to Auburn this year influenced his decision. "It played into things a lot--the more you go somewhere the more you feel at home, the more you adapt. That is what you should do to make sure that is where you want to be.

"In the end I closed my eyes and said, 'Could I see myself playing there?' And the vision came true."

Commenting on getting his decision finalized, he says, "That feels real good. I feel like I haven't got any more pressure on me. The pressure is off and I can just focus on the 2009 season."

Commenting on his comfort level with the Auburn coaches, Howard says, "(Tommy Thigpen) was real big. Him and Coach (Gene) Chizik was real big in getting me down there. They said if I came down there I would love it and their words were true. I came down there probably four or five times this summer and I liked it more and more every time I came down there."

Howard was on the campus again Saturday as the Tigers ran a senior camp with around 300 prospects in attendance. While he didn't work out, Howard took it as another opportunity to see the campus and visit with the coaches and ultimately push Auburn over the top.

Because of his combination of size and speed, Howard is a player who could line up at a number of different positions on the next level. As a running back he rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore and had another solid year as a junior. He's also capable of playing defensive back and has played there on and off since he started as a freshman.

To show what kind of athlete Howard is all you have to do is take a look at his numbers from the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships this past spring. In the 100 meter dash, Howard finished fifth in the state, running a 11.18 in the finals. In the 200 he finished third with a time of 22.27. In the long jump Howard's leap of 22-03 was easily good enough to win the title. Not done just yet, Howard also finished fourth in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 5 1/4 inches.

Howard becomes Auburn's second commitment in three days, joining talented athlete Demetruce McNeal from Banneker High in College Park, Ga. That brings Auburn's total to 11 with Joel Bonomolo, Jonathan Mincy, Jessel Curry, Jawara White, Jeremy Richardson, Shun Coleman, Jake Holland, Shaun Kitchens and Cody Parkey already on board.

Howard says the Tigers are adding talented in-state prospects to their 2010 class and says he he should fit in nicely with that group.

"I talked to Jake (Holland) yesterday," he says. "We were just talking like this is the class that is going to do it--the class of 2010. I talked to Rah-Rah (Jawara White) while I was down there. All of the coaches and us think this is going to be a special class. We are all so much alike and we want it. We think it is going to be real good." (More to come.)

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