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February 2, 2012
Coaches' Take: Insight on Auburn's class
Who knows each player that signed with Auburn, better than their high school coach? Here's insight on every prospect Auburn signed on National Signing Day.
OL Will Adams, 6'7 280
"He started more games as an offensive lineman than any kid I've ever had," said Sandy Creek High School offensive line coach Jamie Glover. "He's talented, he's very smart, he's got great feet, I feel like he fits the scheme for what Auburn will be doing. He's a great player, he's going to get bigger, he's got great work ethic, I'm looking for big things.
"He's really good at the zone, outside zone, and he's really good as pass protection. He can come off the ball and do that real well, but the two best things he does is zone blocking and pass protection."
OL Shane Callahan, 6'6 285
"We've had some good ones here," said Chaparral High School offensive line coach, Rod Dobbs. "I think (Callahan's) right up there in that category. The main ingredients were there. It was just up to him to go from there. Absolutely, I saw (potential). And I wasn't the only one. Other coaches saw it, too. I mean, it's pretty obvious."
CB T.J. Davis, 6'1 180
"T.J. is a quality person, an outstanding student. Auburn has a really special guy here," Godby High School coach Ronnie Cottrell said.
"(T.J.) can run, and I think he's a better open field tackler than anything else. He's not afraid to come up and strike you, he's been a four year varsity player and it's because he will come up and hit you. He originally made his name on special teams as a gunner," said Godby assistant Cleon McFarlane.
CB Joshua Holsey, 5'11 175
"He's a big-time film reader," Creekside High School coach Johnny White said. "He likes watching film and going through progressions. A lot of times, he knows what routes teams like to run. He reads the ball very well, and covers ground very well."
TE Darrion Hutcherson, 6'7 247
"He has great size and great athletic ability," said Dadeville High School coach Matt Harrison. "His greatest attribute is his athletic ability with great hands, and the ability to become a great tight end in college. His biggest weakness now is his inexperience. He's a wonderful kid, he wants to achieve and wants to please. He has goals set in his mind to become the best tight end he can be. He's going to be a 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end in college, a heck of a force to be reckoned with."
CB Jonathan Jones, 5'10 184
"Jonathan has been a three year starter for us. He has great speed and explosion and has really improved his ball skills. He drives on the ball really well and is a sure tackler when he arrives at the ball," said Carrollton High School coach Andrew Fowler. "He is a coachable and disciplined player who works hard in the weight room and at practice. He is a great student athlete who will be a valuable addition to the Auburn football program. Not only is he a great player, but he is a quality young man as well."
OL Robert Leff, 6'6 270
"Well, you aren't going to find a better person than Robert," Fairhope High School assistant Keith Trimew said. "He's a very good ball player and a very good young man. He's worked really hard to get where he's at right now."
WR Ricardo Louis, 6'2 210
"He's very explosive, he's very fast, he's a 1,000-pound lifter. He's extremely hard working and he's definitely going to give it everything he's got. He's a team player," said Miami Beach High School coach Rafael Jimenez. "He's 6-foot-2, 225-pounds, he's a beast. He can do a lot of things, you should see him play basketball. He's very coachable, those are his strengths. He played receiver, outside linebacker, quarterback, running back for us, he did everything but sell hot dogs. He's versatile."
LB Cassanova McKinzy, 6'3 233
"We sure are going to miss him around here," said Woodlawn High School coach Bruce Breland. "It's a good fit, I think he definitely has the ability to come in and help them out there. He picks up on the game well, he understands the game. He has explosiveness to the ball, he's capable of being physical, he could dominate physically.
"I know Auburn does a great job of helping athletes mature, not just athletically but emotionally. I expect to see him become a young man and mature. Cassanova has said he wants to get down there as soon as he can after he graduates to start working out with the older guys. He's real enthused about getting started, he doesn't want to be a freshman. He already wants to be thought of as a older kid coming in."
OL Patrick Miller, 6'7 275
"He's a guy who obviously is physically going to be 6'6, but he bends his knees, he can run, he's got great feet and great athleticism," said Dwyer High School coach Jack Daniels. "He's got a mean streak that it doesn't matter who is over him at the ball, he gets after it. He takes them to the ground, knock their helmet off, whatever it is. He needs to get a little stronger in run blocking, but he's great in pass protection and for a big kid, he's a great puller.
"I think he's going to develop into a starter. He's got a chance to compete in the spring, he's got a learning to do, if he continues to progress he's going to play in the NFL for a long time."
LB Javiere Mitchell, 6'2 209
"The speed of the game won't hurt him, I think his speed is one of his strengths," Leeds High School coach Keith Etheridge. "He'll have to adjust to not having contact right when the ball is snapped, like at defensive line in high school. He'll gain some weight, he was 203 when he left here. He can adjust quick to linebacker, he's going to have great coaching at Auburn. If he puts his mind to it, which I know he will, I wouldn't be surprised to see him starting soon. He's a quality kid that will be one of those kids that you won't even know he's down there until practice time and game time. I've never had an issue with him."
DT Tyler Nero, 6'2 290
"There's no doubt in my mind, Tyler is the best defensive tackle in the state of Alabama," Escambia County High School coach Mark Heaton said. "This is a guy that is going to turn some heads at the next level. He's very explosive, he plays with a high motor and he's wide open. He may be a little shorter than other defensive tackles, but he chases the ball from sideline to sideline like a linebacker.
"I'm telling you, Tyler has something about him most kids don't have. It's a God-given ability. He's so quick off the ball and he has natural instincts you can't teach. He has the highest motor I've ever been around."
TE Ricky Parks, 6'4 235
"First off, Ricky has great character," Callaway High School coach Pete Wiggins said. "He's humble and has a plan to be successful. He works hard each and every day in the classroom, the weight room and on the field. As a player, he's physical, has great size and can really run. He's also versatile and runs good routes.
"He catches everything and that's why we have called him 'Sticky' since he got here. He's a guy that can play H-back, flex out or line up next to the tackle. Ricky can block. He can do it all."
QB Zeke Pike, 6'6 225
"He's an outstanding talent, he has great talent and athleticism," Dixie Heights High School coach Tom Spritzky said. "His greatest attribute is his competitiveness. He hates to lose and will compete to the bitter end. He's got great character, his character lends him to make lots of friends. I've been coaching for 23 years and I've never had a kid recruited of this caliber. God blessed him with his size, he's a winner, and I think he'll being the same thing to Auburn."
DE Gimel President, 6'4 250
"Gimel is a tremendous young man that comes from a very supportive and involved family. They have instilled a strong work ethic and dependable moral character in Gimel," said Wando High School coach James Noonan. "President has all of the athletic tools to be a great player in the SEC. His body is long, rangy, and explosive. Gimel has a great first step and has equally quick hands. He has the potential of gaining mass, giving him the ability to play inside or on the edge."
RB Jovon Robinson, 6'1 220
"He's got big play ability. Every time he touches the ball he has chance to go to the house," Wooddale High School coach Keith Spann. "He has leadership qualities, but it will take time to foster those. The later part of his senior year he became a vocal leader. The sky is the limit for the kid, it just depends on how he adapts to the situation. I see him being very successful at Auburn."
QB Jonathan Wallace, 6'2 205
"He is very, very smart. He has the intelligence to succeed in any arena," Central Phenix City High School coach Woodrow Lowe said. "We trusted him this year in just about everything we did when the game was close. I just think when there's been a pressure situation over the past two years, he's been able to make the right decisions," Lowe said. "He revs up for that, welcomes those types of situations. He's the kind of guy that's going to try to get it done. The upside to him is that he's still got a lot more to learn."
WR JaQuay Williams, 6'4 204
"He's a guy that has great hands, he has all the physical tools to do what receivers need to do in the college game. He's big and strong, and fast enough to be a vertical threat. He can block, he can do all those things to be successful at the next level," Sandy Creek High School coach Chip Walker said. "Things he needs to work on, I think he needs to continue to work on route running, that's the big thing, and really the only thing that might be a weakness. He has huge upside, huge upside. He can do it all. His best football is in front of him."
OT Avery Young, 6'6 292
"He's very athletic, excellent one-on-one pass protector, very long, he's got an 84-inch reach, tremendous feet, good run blocker, pulls well on gap plays, he gets out well in open screens, I just think he has the highest ceiling of any tackle in the country," said Palm Beach Gardens High School coach Chris Davis. "I think he's going to get to the point where he's one of the elite guys out there. He's 6-foot-6, 292-pounds. I just think his potential is higher than any tackle out there. Once he gets to 315-320-pounds, he looks like a skill guy. He's not one of these sloppy, big lineman. He's solid, good looking 290-pound guy. He's going to be incredible.
"I think he'll be ready to play earlier than your typical freshman lineman. He might be the best player I've coached, he's very, very good. I'd say he's a little better pass blocker, but he can do both. Tackles in today's game are on the edge a lot, but his feet are so good, he's so athletic."