Prospect from Mobile's Stock On the Rise

Converted from quarterback to defensive end, colleges are taking note of a junior football player at Davidson High School.

Mobile, Ala.--Although he has only played defensive end for one season, Davidson High School's Jabrian Niles is expected to be one of the top defensive line prospects in the state for the 2011 football signee class.

On Monday the junior made an unofficial visit to check out Auburn after receiving a scholarship offer from the Tigers on Friday.

Ken Daigle, the defensive line coach at Davidson, has a high opinion of the junior's potential.

"He has only played defensive line for one year," Daigle points out. "Before that he was an option quarterback. On his sophomore game film I?have plays of him running over folks that now are teammates on his side of the ball.

"It is funny we have converted one of the offensive kids who was a quarterback into a defensive lineman," the coach says. "His upside is so incredible it is not even funny. He has performed and done very well on the field and he is doing well in the classroom, but his upside is so tremendous schools are gravitating to his tremendous upside as well as his great play on the field."

Niles, who says he currently checks in at 6-2, 270 pounds, points out that he is still growing physically and learning how to play on defense, something he enjoys.

"Quarterback was fun, and I miss being on that side of the ball, but tackling is a big thrill to me," he says. "I don't know why I love to tackle so much."

Niles notes that he enjoyed his outing to Auburn on Monday spending time with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, defensive coordinator Ted Roof and head coach Gene Chizik. "I think it was a great visit,"?he says.

Niles, who already had offers from Florida State and Texas Tech, says he plans to come back to Auburn in the spring. His first trip to the campus was for a junior day in January.

"I talked to all of the coaches, got to know them better and I really enjoyed it," he says, noting that he plans to bring family members when he returns to Auburn.

With his recruiting stock on the rise, this weekend he is expected to head to LSU. As a junior, he made 72 tackles with eight sacks. Niles says it is still early in the recruiting process and he doesn't have a favorite yet.

"This is all new to him," Daigle says. "I don't think in his wildest dreams he ever expected to get this much attention. This is just a new process for him. What I?have tried to do is be there so he understands what he is looking at and make certain that he understands he needs to follow his heart. However long that takes is however long it takes. He will figure it out. He is a smart cat.

"I have loved coaching him," Daigle adds. "Wherever he ends up going some defensive line coach is going to love coaching him. He has got a bright future ahead of him.

Commenting on Auburn, Niles says, "I?like Coach Rocker. He is a straight man, down to earth. He doesn't tell you what want to hear, he tells you what you need to hear.

"I love the Auburn coaches,"?he adds. "I love being around them."

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