Auburn Picks Up First Commitment For 2011

The Auburn football Tigers wasted little time in getting a head start on the 2011 recruiting year.

Scooba, Miss.--It didn't take long for coach Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers to pick up the first commitment for the 2011 recruiting class and it's a familiar name to Auburn fans.

A talented signee out of Gordo High last year, East Mississippi Community College defensive back Izauea Lanier says that he's ready to get his recruiting over before it starts again as he's committed to being a Tiger.

"I've got some good news," Lanier tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm committing to Auburn. I signed with Auburn out of high school and not too much has changed. I'm still the same person and they're still the same. The program is going great. I think my decision is a good one.

"It's Auburn all the way for me," he adds. "I didn't even open things up so anyone could talk to me. I have stayed with Auburn the whole way. I've always wanted to be there and nothing has changed."

A 6-1, 190 defensive back and EMCC, Lanier had a solid freshman season as the played mostly safety in his first year in junior college, but could get a look at cornerback for the Tigers.

A two-way player for much of his high school career, Lanier says there was a little transition for him playing just one way but he got used to it pretty quick.

"When I got here, since I signed with Auburn to play safety, they thought it would be the best thing for me to play here," Lanier says. "I had a pretty good year. I had 66 tackles, four sacks, four interceptions, and nine pass break-ups."

With the athleticism to play anywhere in the secondary down the road at Auburn even cornerback, Lanier will have three seasons to do just that on the Plains as he plans to redshirt next year at EMCC and concentrate on his academics. That would leave him with three seasons left to play at Auburn, something that he likes the sound of.

Lanier is looking forward to his time at Auburn because it also means he gets to fulfill a dream of playing for the Tigers that he came so close to achieving last year before he failed to qualify. Seeing what Chizik's first team accomplished on the field only made his desire to get to Auburn grow stronger.

"This staff is all about business," Lanier says. "They want things to be done a certain way. They want it done like that for a reason. They are improving the program. I think I'll fit in good there. My mom is very excited. Being over here, she really wanted me at Auburn first. Being committed now and knowing that I'm going there, she can breathe.

"I'm very happy that I can get this done," he adds. "I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way so nobody else would have to come and try to recruit me. I already know where I want to go and where I want to end up. It feels good to do it early and get it out the way so nothing can come between me and what I want to do."

As a senior at Gordo, Lanier rushed for 871 yards as running back and caught passes for 870 yards as a wide receiver as he helped the Green Wave advance to the third round of the playoffs. He also was a standout on defense with 68 tackles and seven interceptions playing from the safety and cornerback positions. He added both a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown.

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