Big Defensive Lineman Makes It Official

This Georgia product could challenge for immediate playing time next fall.

Statesboro, Ga.--Auburn's first verbal commitment for the Class of 2003 made his decision official Wednesday when he signed a National Letter of Intent to be a Tiger. A 6-1, 294 defensive tackle that received attention from Florida, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Josh Thompson has the size and quickness to give the Tigers immediate help up front in Coach Gene Chizik's defense.

A rare four-year starter for head coach Buzz Busby at Statesboro, Thompson was the catalyst on a defense that led his team to a perfect 15-0 season and a state title in 2001. He finished the season with 56 solo tackles and 44 assists and beat constant double teams from his nose guard position to total 10 ½ sacks and 20 tackles for loss as well.

Josh Thompson

Things didn't work out quite as well for Thompson as a senior. The best athlete on Statesboro's defense as a senior, he was moved to middle linebacker despite his size. Finishing the year with over 70 tackles, he said the experience taught him a lot about his game as well as understanding how a defense works.

When he arrives in Auburn this summer, Thompson will likely already be the strongest player on the Tiger team. With a bench press of 440 pounds and a squat of nearly 700 pounds, Thompson should be able to handle himself right away with more experienced players on the college level.

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