Talking more with: Demetruce McNeal
I wrote a story in today's editions about two of the Tigers' early commitments, Demetruce McNeal and LaDarius Owens, and how they helped get the ball rolling.
My conversation with McNeal traveled well beyond what you read in the story.
So here's some other stuff we discussed.
- On what drew him to Auburn: ``I committed to Auburn because they needed help at safety and that's what I want to play. They came to me a while back, said I was their guy and that's how it went down."
- On if it was tough to buy into what Auburn was selling: ``Not at all. I knew a lot of these coaches before now. Coach Trooper Taylor, I knew him going to back to Tennessee. I knew Thigpen when he was at North Carolina. When Auburn hired these coaches after the coaching change, I knew we were up the way up. I had no doubt about it. I saw the group of coaches they had and it was simple -- if they wanted me, I was there. And that's what happened."
- On his lack of high-school stats, which includes one career interception: ``I know! People won't throw at me. I had two passes thrown my way all year. They didn't catch either one, of course, but teams just don't throw much anymore. You see a lot of Wing-T in Atlanta. That makes me play up more, give that run support. Some (college) teams saw what I was doing and wanted me to play linebacker, but that's not me. I'm a safety. I want to have that chance to play pass defense. I want to be a complete safety."
- On if Daren Bates' development affected McNeal's decision: ``Yeah, I saw how they worked him and that was a good thing for me. They'll play the guy who shows he can play -- not who is older."
- On Auburn's overall recruiting effort: ``I've been shocked lately. They keep adding great players. We all know about Cameron Newton. He's the best quarterback out there as far as I know. When they got him, I think that really added a lot. I was like: Wow. Now we're picking up guys who are de-committing from other schools. They're all coming to Auburn."
- On which recruits he communicates with: ``I talk with (Antonio) Goodwin and (Jonathon) Mincy at least every week, I'd say. I know we're going after the DT from Warner Robins (Jeffrey Whitaker), but I haven't talked with him yet. We've been talking about giving him a call, seeing what's up. You'd be crazy not to take an Auburn offer right now."
- On any awkwardness involving his brother, DeMarco, not having an Auburn offer: ``Nah, he's got some really good offers. He had an Auburn offer back during the summer, but they pulled it back. He's looking at South Carolina and West Virginia right now. You never know who might pop up. I've been doing what I can to help him get some scholarships. He's a good player."