Garrett Chooses Chizik's Tigers

Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers have picked up another football verbal commitment. A report with video game and workout highlights is featured.

Tucker, Ga.--Auburn picked up its 12th verbal commitment for the 2011 football signee class from linebacker Justin Garrett on Tuesday evening.

"I called Coach (Gene) Chizik and told him I had made my decision and I am going to sign with Auburn," Garrett tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I knew on Saturday after I visited Auburn with my parents that is what I wanted to do."

The rising senior at Tucker High School is a 6-2, 196-pounder who is rated as a three-star prospect by Known for his physical style of play, he is ranked as the No. 21 outside linebacker prospect in the country.

Garrett visited Auburn on Saturday with his parents, Carl and Debbie, and that moved the Tigers to the top of his list that included scholarship offers from a dozen schools.

Justin Garrett

Garrett said he also considered Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee prior to picking the Tigers.

Garrett said he likes Auburn's players and coaches including defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who handles the linebackers. "I feel good about him," the prospect said.

"He is a tough coach that coaches his guys pretty hard, but I know he could get me to where I need to be and that is to the NFL," Garrett added. "I understand him, I get what he tells me, and he is a coach I could play for."

Commenting on Gene Chizik's staff, he said, "They have a great coaching staff there. They'll have a chance to win the national championship and SEC championship."

Chad Simmons, director of scouting for's Southeast region, said Auburn is getting a promising recruit:

"The first thing that stands out about Garrett is his closing speed. He really gets down hill in a hurry and closes in on the ball well. He stays in pretty good control, he keeps his feet under him, and he makes solid tackles.

"While he gets to the ball in a hurry, he needs to work on wrapping up better. He throws his shoulder in there and he has some pop behind his pads, but he does not wrap up very well. He needs to become a more solid tackler and not rely on his power knocking opponents down.

He is a versatile linebacker that looks comfortable when making his drops. He can flare out in the flats and he has looked good dropping into the middle of the field. He flips his hips well, turns his shoulders and does a good job of keeping the ball in his sight while dropping into his zone.

On film he has shown two ways to get to the ball when he has someone to go through--he uses his hands well to get off blocks and he will fly into the defender and blow him to get to the ball. That is something you like to see.

"Weight is something that needs to be added. Garrett is a long and lean athlete that needs to fill out. He is going to be a linebacker on the next level and he will have to battle some big fullbacks, tight ends, and offensive linemen as he tries to make plays. He has the frame to gain a good bit of weight.

"Overall, Garrett is an athlete playing football. He is a typical Tucker recruit that plays with a lot of speed. He changes direction well, he brings pop when he makes tackles, he plays with a lot of energy, and he has shown the ability to drop back into coverage.

"The two biggest knocks on his game right now is his weight and power along with his tackling technique. He comes in low and tackles nicely behind his pads, but he needs to become more of a wrap-up tackler. When his body fills out and gets to that 220 plus stage, watch out. He can run, he pursues the ball, he plays with fire, and he likes to hit."

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