Delaine Excited About His Future As A Tiger

Big defensive end Justin Delaine talks about his play this season, his commitment to Auburn and his thoughts on the Tigers' season.

Linden, Ala.--For Auburn commitment Justin Delaine the 2009 season was one of great pride and also disappointment. Moving from Sumter County High School to Linden High, Delaine's play was one of the reasons why the Patriots became a dominant team in Class 1A.

Undefeated and boasting one of the top defensive teams in the state, Linden lost to eventual state champ Brantley in the final seconds of its game in the quarter-finals to finish the year at 12-1. Delaine says while the season didn't end with a title, it was still a great year.

"I came in kind of slow, but I had to turn it up," Delaine says. "I did that. I stepped up my game this year. We played good, but it didn't end like we wanted it to. We had a good season."

At 6-6, 235 with outstanding speed and quickness off the corner, Delaine is a threat on the defensive side of the ball. However, playing very few teams with a sustained passing attack, he instead became more of a contain man for the Patriots on defense this season. He says despite that fact he believes he had a strong year on defense.

"As far as technique things were a little different this year," Delaine says. "I've always played defensive end and have always had to contain some, but it was a little different. I guess I kind of did good though. I think I improved a lot this season. I learned to appreciate the team aspect even more. I played with a good group of guys. Last season I played hard, but this season I played smarter."

A commitment to Auburn since back in August, Delaine says that the more he saw out of the Tigers and Coach Gene Chizik this season the stronger his commitment got.

"That meant a lot to me," Delaine says of the way Auburn played this season. "We're going to have most of those guys back next year. Then we'll come in with a better recruiting class than anybody I think. We'll help them out. This season they did really good.

"To tell you the truth I had some doubts about the West Virginia game early because I had been paying attention to them a little," he adds. "They took care of business. I think they played really hard."

At no point in the season was their playing hard more apparent than in the last regular season game of the year against Alabama. Despite being a huge underdog, the Tigers controlled much of the game before falling on a late touchdown. Delaine says although Auburn lost it showed him plenty about the future of the program.

"It showed me that we can beat Bama," Delaine says. "It showed that Auburn can beat Bama anytime and any day."

Justin Delaine

Scheduled to take his official visit to Auburn on Jan. 16, Delaine notes that he took several visits to the campus this season including one for the Iron Bowl and was impressed by the atmosphere.

"I came to the Alabama game and homecoming," Delaine says. "I think I came to another game. It just felt good because Auburn just feels like home. Everybody is for us there. I know when I get there it will feel like home. The eagle flight really just killed me. It was great."

With Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and several other schools still showing interest, Delaine says that his phone still rings from time to time. While there is still talk coming from other coaching staffs, Delaine says they are just wasting their time with him.

"I'm completely solid," Delaine says. "They are still trying, but I'm not giving them the time of day."

Perhaps the biggest news for Delaine is in the classroom. Working hard on his grades since moving to Linden late in the summer, Delaine says that he's seeing improvements. He's also received his score back from taking the ACT and that has given him a much better feeling about being ready for next season.

"Yes sir," Delaine says. "I'm much better than I was last year. The change of schools has helped me out. I took my ACT and I made an 18. I can do better."

He adds that he plans to take the ACT again to improve his score while he continues to make sure he takes care of his business in the classroom while staying in shape playing basketball for Linden.


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