When you throw in a reach of 80 inches you have exactly the type of defensive back Auburn is looking for to take the defense to the next level. To put his wingspan into perspective you have to consider that Jadeveon Clowney’s wingspan was measured at 83 inches at the last NFL Combine. To put that kind of reach on a player in the secondary means plenty of potential disruption in the future.
He got to showcase that against top wide receiver talent and left after making a strong impression on the Auburn coaching staff. Earning a spot in the top group for Melvin Smith at cornerback, he said overall it was a great experience.
“I loved it,” Gaines said. “I loved everything about it and especially the facilities and the stadium and the weight room. I loved everything about Auburn.
“I think I could come up there and make an immediate impact,” he added. “I think I can get some playing time as a freshman. I knew it was my chance to make myself stand out. I really felt good about them throwing me into the top group and getting to compete in front of everybody.”
Playing mostly safety for Frostproof High, Gaines is a physical player that isn’t afraid to get down and dirty on defense. That attitude makes him an intriguing prospect and one that could play a number of different roles on the next level. He said that’s what Auburn liked about him after seeing his skills in person.
“I showed I can do anything on the defensive side of the ball,” Gaines said of his camp performance. “They just told me that they loved the way I competed and they really want me back up to watch a game this fall so I can see how the atmosphere is during a game. They said they’re going to recruit me harder.”
With several top offers from around the country, Gaines said he’s closing in on a decision following a busy summer. Hoping to get it out of the way before his senior season, the talented defensive back added that right now he’s still pretty open but three schools have an advantage.
“I’m going to try to make a decision sometime between August and September,” Gaines said. “I have a top five of Alabama, Auburn, Michigan State, Nebraska and Florida State in no order. Auburn is probably one of the top three along with Alabama and Michigan State.”