Talented Junior QB High on the Tigers

Class of 2016 quarterback prospect Xavier Gaines was a standout performer in an Auburn football camp.

One of the most impressive players at Auburn’s football prospects camp told Inside the Auburn Tigers on Saturday night that he is equally impressed with Auburn.

Xavier Gaines, ranked as the No. 12 quarterback in the 2016 class, showed a strong arm and a good touch at the event that featured rising juniors.

“Auburn is my number one school right now,” he said. “I have a great relationship with the coaches already and I know a couple of players on the team.

“Auburn has a great fan base and they run the same offense as we run at my high school and it fits me well,” the Lake Wales, Fla., High School star said.

Gaines noted that he currently has 22 scholarship offers, but the one from the Tigers stands out. “I am going home and talk to my parents about it and I might be ready to make my decision,” he said.

The quarterback made the trip from Florida with Lake Wales High coach Ronney Daniels, a former star wide receiver for the Tigers, plus older brother Kaleel Gaines, a senior defensive back, who has an offer from the Tigers.

A talented athlete who has been a starter on a high school team since he was an eighth grader in Frostproof, the four-star quarterback said, “I?started at defensive end at first and then started at quarterback beginning with my ninth grade year.”

Commenting on his trip to Auburn, the prospect said, “The camp went good. I completed a lot of passes and got to know the coaches a little bit better. I?met Coach (Gus) Malzahn for the first time ever and he is a pretty cool dude.

“It was really my first time at Auburn,” he added, noting that he had already built a good relationship with AU’s offensive coordinator, Rhett Lashlee, the quarterback coach who is personally recruiting Gaines.

“Coach Lashlee is my guy,” Gaines said. “We talk all of the time.”

Gaines, who camped at Tennessee earlier this summer, said attending the Auburn camp it was good for him to work with Lashlee and compete against talented athletes. Asked what he is concentrating on as a quarterback this summer, the rising junior said, “I am working on releasing the ball more quickly.”

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