2014 QB Checks Out Auburn

2014 prospect D.J. Gillins discusses his visit to Auburn on Saturday, gives his thoughts on Cam Newton, and more.

Jacksonville, Fla.—Expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in the 2014 class, upcoming junior D.J. Gillins is already hearing from several of the top programs in the country as he heads into the summer. On Saturday he took a visit to one of those as he got a look at the Auburn campus to get a closer look at the Tigers.

"The visit was amazing," Gillins said. "I have never seen a campus that big. It was just beautiful. I liked everything about it. They showed us around and also showed us videos. I learned how to tie my shoes properly since I'm flat-footed. It was just simple stuff but amazing to me.

"Auburn, there are too many things to say about Auburn," he added. "You just can't sum it up in one word. I love it."

Spending time with Coach Gene Chizik and the rest of the Auburn coaching staff, the 6-3, 190 Gillins said he enjoyed the experience and likes what he saw on his trip. He said he particularly liked talking with first-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.

Known for producing quarterbacks, Loeffler has coached some of the best in guys like Tom Brady and Tim Tebow. Gillins said it was great to be able to spend quality time with him on his trip.

"He's a real cool dude," Gillins said. "He's straightforward. He's not going to sit around and BS. He was straightforward and I really appreciate that. He's coached six NFL quarterbacks and most coaches can't say that."

In addition to just sitting down and talking with Loeffler, Gillins said he also had the chance to watch some film on Auburn as the coach explained his offensive system. Coming from a spread offense the young quarterback said it was great to get a feel for a different offense than what he's used to.

"It was new to me but I really like the system," Gillins said. "What he said was amazing. We run a no-huddle but he was showing me the huddle offense and different cadences. How you say the play in the huddle is different. I liked it."

One of the things that Gillis said was special to him was getting the opportunity to talk to Chizik about Cam Newton. His idol as a quarterback, Gillis said learning more about Newton on his trip was a great moment for him.

"I'm not going to lie I love Cam Newton," Gillis said. "He's my favorite quarterback in the NFL right now. I pretty much look up to him in everything he does and watch every move he makes. I saw him in person one-time at a 7-on-7 tournament and he's a huge dude.

"I learned that when it came down to situations like the fourth quarter or when it was a tight ballgame that Cam Newton wanted the ball," he added. "He was the man. That's what Coach Chizik told me."

Already with early offers from North Carolina, Texas Tech, Troy, Florida International, and Massachusetts, Gillins is hearing from dozens of other schools early in the recruiting process following a strong 2011 season. As a sophomore he completed 191-331 passes for 2,677 yards and 31 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. He also had 78 carries for 173 yards and five touchdowns.

Still waiting on an offer from Auburn, he said that the coaches told him they are definitely interested and want to see him back on the Plains.

"I didn't get an offer but they want me to come back to a game and come see them," Gillins said. "I will do that."

With still two years left before he has to make a decision on a school, Gillins said he's already feeling to early recruiting pressure that comes along with being a high-profile prospect. Even with that he said it's just a great experience and he's enjoying every part of it and is learning what he wants in a school when the time comes.

"I love it," Gillins said. "Sometimes it gets annoying because I have to call different coaches at different times and I have to schedule appointments with them. I like it though. It's pretty crazy.

"I don't have any favorites right now," he added. "Everybody is still even. I'm just wide open. I'm looking at the offense and coaching style and just the chemistry around a team. I want a team that's a family and not just a bunch of individuals."

Gillis said he plans to camp at Vanderbilt on Sunday and he will be at Florida State June 13-16. He said he'll also camp at Troy this summer.

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