Tigers Pick Up Verbal From Top Defensive Back

The Tigers got help at a crucial spot with the addition of a top cornerback to the Class of 2003.

Miami, Fla.--Auburn picked up a commitment at a key position when cornerback Patrick Lee from Christopher Columbus High told the Auburn coaches that he wanted to be an Auburn Tiger.

After visiting the Plains the previous weekend, Lee says that he knew Auburn was the place for him even after a visit to Georgia over the weekend.

"I've already committed," Lee tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I told the coaches yesterday (on the way home from Athens). I have an opportunity to play early there. I didn't know it was going to be the place for me until I visited there."

The opportunity for early playing time is a major reason why Lee says he decided to be a Tiger. Losing cornerbacks Roderick Hood, Rashaud Walker and Horace Willis following the 2002 season, the position will be up for grabs opposite Carlos Rogers and Lee says that the patience of Auburn in the recruiting game and the people on campus won out in the end.

"Auburn has been recruiting me about the same length of time as Rutgers," Lee notes of the schools recruiting him the longest. "They (Auburn) just have good people there and I have the opportunity to play right away."

A 6-0 ½, 183-pound cornerback and safety for Christopher Columbus, Lee was a starter for two seasons for the 6A team in what is considered by many to be the toughest high school football league in the country. Leading his team to a 7-3 record (forced to forfeit four games because of an ineligible player), he had 70 tackles, three interceptions and four blocked kicks on defense and also added 12 kickoff returns for over 200 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown.

While his football exploits are impressive what he does off the field may be even more spectacular. A track star, he won the state championship in the long jump with a leap of 23-10 and ran a time of 10.9 seconds in the 100-meter dash. He also competes in the 200-meter dash, the 4x100 relay and the high jump.

The track numbers are outstanding, but it is his basketball exploits that make people stand up and take notice. Playing against schools like perennial powerhouse Miami Senior High and others, he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game playing power forward for Christopher Columbus despite being outsized against virtually every opponent.

Lee says he is still planning to visit North Carolina State and Michigan State in the coming weeks but is firmly committed to being a Tiger.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Lee joins quarterback Kelcy McKissic-Luke, running backs Brandon Jacobs, Jason Jude and Carl Stewart, tight ends Cole Bennett and Kenneth Williams, offensive linemen King Dunlap and Jarrod Britt, defensive tackle Josh Thompson, defensive end Tony McClain and kickers John Vaughn, Bruce Edwards and Kody Bliss as Auburn commitments. The Tigers are expected to sign between 23 and 26 players on National Signing Day (Feb. 5).

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