"I have been watching their football games for a long time," says Justin Delaine, a defensive end who has transferred to Linden High School for his senior season. "When I first visited them as a recruit I took a tour of the campus with one of the Tigerettes (campus hostess) and I liked all of that. When I came back another time I just fell in love with Auburn."
Choosing Auburn over offers from Mississippi State, Troy, Southern Miss and South Alabama, he is a three-sport athlete who is making the move from Sumter County High School where he played as a junior.
"I just moved to Linden about a week ago," he says, noting he is getting adjusted to his new school. His new coach, Andro Williams, says the paperwork on the transfer is being processed so Delaine won't be able to play in the team's jamboree game this Friday, but he will be counted on to be a key player for Linden this season.
Justin Delaine is now wearing the colors of the Linden High Patriots.
Williams says he is looking forward to coaching Delaine, who he was impressed with as an athlete after watching him compete in a track and field meet last year. "We just are making sure we get him squared away, get him graduated and out of here to go to college," the coach says. "He isn't going to have any problems in the classroom. We are going to make sure he does what he has to do academically."
Delaine says that he believes he is on track to qualify academically to attend Auburn, but notes that he won't take his ACT until October. His ambition is to be a coach after college and plans to major in physical education. He is also interested in taking physical therapy classes.
On the football field he plays wide receiver and tight end on offense. Defensively, he is an end. He notes that Auburn assistant coach Phillip Lolley, who is recruiting him, told the high school senior that the Tigers project him as a defensive end.
"The defensive ends stand up here so the position I am playing will be a little bit like playing linebacker," Delaine points out.
Commenting on his best attributes as a football player, he says, "The things I am really strong at are inside containment, beating up the quarterback and chasing down the ball. I run a 4.5 or 4.4 so I run pretty well."
He says that he currently is six-foot-six, 232 pounds. "I have grown an inch this summer," he says. "I hope I don't get any taller."
He uses his height in basketball where he plays both forward spots as well as the post. In track and field he runs the 100, 300 hurdles and throws the shot put.