Dillard High Star Interested in Auburn

Nationally recruited safety Wayne Lyons comments on recruiting and why he is checking out the Auburn Tigers.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.--Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and the number six safety prospect in the country, Dillard High School standout Wayne Lyons has plenty going for him on the football field. Throw in a 4.8 GPA including his honors and AP classes and a 22 on the ACT and you have an exciting prospect for college football coaches across the country.

With that combination it's no surprise that Lyons is one of the most heavily recruited players in the country for the 2011 class with offers from coast to coast. Narrowing his list to 14 schools recently with Auburn among the group, Lyons says at the moment he is focusing on getting better on the field while at the same time gathering information on his favorites.

"It has been pretty tough," Lyons tells Inside The Auburn Tigers about narrowing down his list this summer. "It's a decision you have to make at some time so I figured I would give everybody a real look, the schools I'm really interested in.

"The visits I went on helped me," he adds. "Also the conversations I've had with coaches. The different vibe I get with schools. A lot of stuff factors into the decision."

Playing for Dillard, a school that has been so good to Auburn over the years dating back to the "Dillard Five" of James Bostic, Calvin Jackson, Brian Robinson, Frank Sanders and Otis Mounds, Lyons says that Auburn is just one of those colleges you look at when you grow up playing for the Panthers.

"There is a pipeline from Dillard High School to Auburn," Lyons says. "A lot of Dillard alumni have gone to Auburn. They tell me good things about it and how it's a good place.

"It goes way back to when my mom was in high school and players from Dillard went to Auburn," he added. "They had the Dillard Five then you've had Pat Sims and Stanley McClover and a couple of players that just recently went to Auburn. Harry Adams was one of the fastest players in Florida and Antoine Carter is there too."

Auburn's connection to Dillard isn't the only reason Lyons is looking at the Tigers though. Much of that is due to his relationship with safety coach Tommy Thigpen. Having the position coach as his recruiting coordinator for Auburn is a big bonus for the Tigers said Lyons.

"I enjoy the conversations I have with Coach Thigpen," Lyons says. "He tells me a lot of good stuff about the defensive backs. I think he could get my game to another level with the things that he's telling me and his coaching skills.

"I think it's good," he says of his rapport with Thigpen. "You definitely need to have a good relationship with the coaches who are going to be coaching you for the next four years."

Hoping to narrow his list by the end of his football season, Lyons says he's got very specific things in mind when it comes down to looking at schools and football programs.

"I'm probably going to make my next cut when the season comes," Lyons says. "I'm going to take some visits. Probably the next time I make a cut is when I decide what visits I'm going on."

As a junior Lyons finished with 75 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and six fumbles caused. He was named a Second Team All-State linebacker for 5A classification despite playing most of the year at safety. The season before Lyons had a huge year with 95 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. He played linebacker as a sophomore but played safety as a junior.

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