Slade, an offensive lineman from Moody High School, is one of a pair of in-state verbal commitments to the Tigers who will be taking official visits to see Coach Gene Chizik and his staff as the Auburn team begins bowl practices on campus. He will be joined by Lincoln High School standout D.J. Howard.
Two other prospects with in-state connections are also expected to be in Auburn this weekend for official visits. Defensive end Ken Adams from Enterprise, Ala., High and Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Mississippi is planning to be in Auburn as is Chris Davis, a senior at Woodlawn High in Birmingham.
Slade, a six-foot-six, 315-pounder who is also a standout in basketball, notes that he has finally been able to get back to competition after missing the last two games of his football season with a leg problem.
"I just got through my big injury and I able to play basketball again," he says. "I am full speed now. I missed two football games including our playoff game against Greenville."
Slade, who committed to the Tigers this summer after an impressive performance at an Auburn camp, says, "I am looking forward to having fun, meeting the players and coaches and having a good time on my visit."
He is also expected to spend time with AU academic officials this weekend. "I am interested in majoring in criminology," he says. "I would like to do something like being a crime-scene investigator."
Grades shouldn't be an issue for the big lineman. "School is going good,"?the Moody High senior says. "If you have an ‘A' average in your classes you are exempt from your exams, and I have an ‘A' in all of my classes."
After playing a basketball game on Thursday night, Slade plans to arrive in Auburn on Friday where he will get a chance to watch the Tigers practice on Saturday as they begin preparations for the Outback Bowl that will be played on New Year's Day.
Also a standout in basketball, the center averaged 20 points per game as a junior. "We should be a good team," this season he says. "We lost a couple of games, but we should go to the playoffs."
Slade adds that he is looking forward to playing college football at Auburn. "I am feeling really good about my commitment," he says.
Howard, another early verbal commitment to the Tigers, has had to deal with the loss of his high school coach, Keith Howard, who died of a heart attack suffered during the Lincoln High at Etowah High game on August 28th. Although the safety/running back was not related to his head coach, the two had a close relationship and Coach Howard drove his star player to Auburn for unofficial recruiting visits this past winter, spring and summer.
Rated a three-star safety prospect by Scout.com, Howard has talked to Clemson and Kentucky recently so Auburn coaches will be working to firm up his commitment this weekend while trying to add more from other prospects.
Former Auburn commitment Adams played tight end as a freshman at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and moved to defensive end this year. That is the position that Auburn recruited the 6-5, 245-pounder to play. He previously committed to the former Auburn coaching staff who helped place him in junior college.
Adams, who is scheduled to graduate this month, will be able to enroll in a Division I program in January after graduating this month from junior college. While waiting on a scholarship offer from the new Auburn staff, Adams committed to Tennessee this fall, but since then has taken an official visit to North Carolina and says he has not finalized his decision on where he will attend school in 2010.
"I am not sure when I am going to decide on where I am going to sign," Adams says.
Another undecided prospect expected to visit Auburn this weekend is cornerback Rashad Knight from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. He is expected to arrive on campus Saturday after his team plays for the Florida Class 2B state championship on Friday in Orlando vs. American Christian.
Another official visitor this weekend, linebacker Jessel Curry from Buford High, will be trying to lead his team to a third straight Class AA Georgia state championship on Friday in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome as the Wolves face Calhoun High. Other Auburn commitments expected to be in for official visits include high school teammates Shaun Kitchens and Demetruce McNeal from Banneker High in College Park, Ga.