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June 11, 2013

JUCO DT moves AU into top five

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Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) defensive tackle Abu Lamin visited Auburn on Sunday, before leaving Monday morning.

The Tigers recently made the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Lamin's top eight, along with Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Arizona State and Nebraska. This was Lamin's first trip to the Plains and he left thoroughly impressed.

"The trip was a great trip. Coach (Rodney) Garner is definitely an amazing coach. The facilities, holding that national championship trophy, being around the players and they were treating me like I was on the team. The academic support -- they made me feel at home," Lamin said.

"The best part honestly was chilling with Nosa (Eguae). If I did come there, I'd be treated like the rest of the players. Mostly, the family atmosphere. You are going to go and work hard, but you will have a family. Coach Garner said, sometimes you will hate it, some days you will love it, but in the end they will comfort yo and remind you of the goal you have. That stood out to me the most."

Lamin, a four-star ranked prospect by Rivals.com, spent the majority of his time with Garner, the defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator. Garner has the reputation of producing NFL caliber players and being brutally honest, good or bad.

For Lamin, that resume and honesty were welcomed aspects of his growing relationship with Garner.

"Knowing that if I came to Auburn, Coach Garner has an incredible resume. He's coached great defensive linemen, knowing that if I came there I could be a part of one of the greats on his list," Lamin said.

"Coach Garner sat me down and wasn't rushing me in my decision. Every coach is a good recruiter, he said. He didn't throw dirt on other recruiters, he said rank the process and observe what everyone says to see if it's true. It wasn't trying to get me there right now, it was saying they want me and need me, but he's not pressuring me.

"If I came there, he'd treat me like his own son. He has daughters and he'd treat me like his own son. Whatever school I go to, I want to know I'm taken care of and the coaches are behind me if I ask something. It's not just about football, it's about graduating and that's important to them."

Many prospects that visit Auburn leave saying the underlying theme of their Auburn experience was "family". That sentiment was shared by Lamin.

"It's the family part that they are putting together," said Lamin. Making someone feel at home -- that family is really all it's about. Football is a big family and I have that great connection with Coach Garner, he will treat me like his own."

Lamin visited Arkansas on June 2, will visit Florida on June 14 and South Carolina on June 21. Lamin doesn't plan a narrowed down top five until at least July.

One thing he does know, Auburn will make the next round of cuts.

"Auburn, right now, they are in that high mix. I don't want to say they are number one, but they are definitely in the mix. I'd like to visit other places," Lamin said. "Honestly, for fans, Auburn is in there, they are in that mix. When I cut down to that top five, Auburn has earned a spot in that top five. Let's settle on that, they are in my top five."

Lamin wants to make a decision by mid-season, but there may be one hold up. Lamin promised Coach Garner he would visit Auburn officially for the Iron Bowl in late November, past his planned announcement date.

"It could be before the season, mid-season, but I want to own up to my word to Coach Garner and see that game," said Lamin. "I may hold onto that and wait until the end of the season. If I'm going to announce earlier, the Auburn staff told me they can bring me in earlier. I just want to experience a gameday with the fans and students."

Tennessee, Georgia and LSU are all working to secure visits from Lamin before the fall.

Lamin will have three years to play three.

Twitter: @JHokanson



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