Decision Time for Defensive Line Recruits

A trio of highly regarded high school seniors who are considering the Tigers will soon be ready to make their college destinations known.

Auburn's defensive line recruiting class could get a major boost this week if there is good news for Coach Gene Chizik on three fronts.

On Monday afternoon at Warner Robins, Ga., High School, Scout.com four-star defensive tackle prospect Jeffrey Whitaker will announce his college choice from a short list of finalists that includes the University of Miami, where he took an official visit this past weekend, and the Georgia Bulldogs, who he visited the previous weekend.

Whitaker, who is ranked as the No. 11 defensive tackle prospect for the 2011 signee class, took his official visit to Auburn Jan. 15-17th.

Another interior defensive lineman who has Auburn as one of his final choices is defensive tackle Byran Jones from Junction City, Ark., High. Rated a three-star prospect, he hasn't set an announcement time yet, but notes he has narrowed his choices to Auburn and Arkansas.

On Wednesday, which is national signing day, defensive end Corey Lemonier from Hialeah, Fla., High School will announce his college destination. The five-star prospect has narrowed his final four list that included Tennessee and Miami to a final two of Auburn and Florida State.

Corey Lemonier

Auburn coaches were in Warner Robins on Tuesday to visit Whitaker, an Under Armour All-American, and Georgia coaches were there the following day.

Whitaker says he has been interested in the Tigers for a long time and has a good relationship with AU defensive line coach Tracy Rocker. He notes that the Bulldogs consider him a high priority recruit they want to keep in the state.

Whitaker, who also played in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game, was recruited by colleges from coast to coast as a senior after giving up basketball to concentrate on one sport. Commenting on his interest in Auburn, he says, "I really like the coaching staff and the people I have met there," he says.

Jeffrey Whitaker makes a tackle in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game in Columbus, Ga.

The defensive tackle is expected to announce his choice at 1 p.m. CST (2 p.m. EST in Warner Robins) press conference.

Jones, who was the Most Valuable Player in the Arkansas Class 2A state championship game in December, also won that honor as a junior. Commenting on Auburn, he says, "I have been interested in Auburn for a long time. They have been recruiting me for at least a year.

Byran Jones

"I like the coaches and the people at Auburn and that is important because I am looking for a place where I feel like I will fit in and have a chance to go to the pros," adds Jones, who got a visit from Auburn's coaching staff last week.

One of the last prospects Auburn coaches visited before moving into a non-contact period, Lemonier is rated as the No. 7 defensive end prospect in the country by Scout.com.


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