Prospect Really Enjoys Visit to Check Out Tigers

This talented lineman discusses his official football recruiting visit to Auburn.

Statesboro, Ga.--After a brief flirtation with Georgia Tech, Josh Thompson finalized his plans to be an Auburn football player on his official visit to Auburn University this weekend.

"The visit was real good," he says. "The Tigerettes were real good, the food was real good, the player hosts were real good."

The 6-1, 289-pound defensive lineman from Statesboro High School was Auburn's first public verbal commitment last summer. However, he heard reports that Tiger defensive line coach Don Dunn, the man who has been recruiting him, was headed to Louisville to become assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. That prompted him to schedule a visit to Georgia Tech, which he did last weekend. However, he says that all systems are go for him to be a Tiger. Dunn turned down that job offer from Louisville to stay at Auburn.

Thompson says that he went to Outback Steak House for dinner on Friday night with his player host, defensive end Bret Eddins. Also joining them was another defensive lineman, D.J. Ernst from West Monroe, La., High. Thompson says he also enjoyed a dinner at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. "We put away a pretty good bit of steak and shrimp," he notes.

The defensive line prospect says that Eddins did an excellent job as a player host. "Bret was a real honest host. He showed us the ropes. He introduced us to all of the coaches and told us about their personalities. Everything was real nice. It is like a family. Everybody knows everybody."

After staying out late on Friday night, he says he caught a nap in the afternoon on Saturday, but also toured the campus and visited with academic advisers and met other members of the coaching staff as well as players. "I am going into the education field so we talked about that," says Thompson, who is an honor student. "We pretty well got all of that straight."

Josh Thompson at last year's Nike Combine in Athens.

The strongest player Auburn is recruiting this year, he smashed the old Nike Combine bench press record (45 reps) last spring with 56 reps of 185 pounds. (Thompson's record has since been eclipsed and now stands at 62, set by Josh Ward, a high school junior from Tennessee.) He competes in powerlifting for Statesboro High and is currently training for that. "The power lifting competition starts at the end of February," he says. "We really start lifting hard this week. In February we will have the regional and in March we will have the state."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Like many recruits in recent seasons, Thompson plans to come to Auburn early in the summer to get a head start on the football season. "I think I will come in to Auburn early, sometime after July 4th and get used to things and attend summer school," he says. "I can get used to going to class and start learning the plays."...Thompson bench presses 440 pounds and squads 650, but he says he expects to improve on those numbers before competing at the state and regional powerlifting competitions.


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