Chicago might not seem to be an Auburn football hotbed, but the Tigers have started to build a young fan base in the Second City.
Quinlan Matthew’s second grade class at Schmid Elementary School, located in an impoverished area of Chicago’s south side, became avid Auburn fans through a class project. The class was assigned a project on a college and somehow settled on Auburn. The students eventually posted a video displaying their knowledge of the school and one of its best traditions. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs was incredibly impressed.
“I couldn’t believe that this group of second graders had taken the time, all the way in Chicago, to learn so much about Auburn,” Jacobs told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi during a featured piece on ESPN’s College Gameday. “My first thought was, ‘what can we do for them?’”
Auburn rewarded the class’s work by sending two special visitors to their school, Auburn mascot Aubie and legendary Auburn tailback Bo Jackson. Auburn also invited the class to attend a game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The kids stopped by Auburn’s equestrian center, participated in the Tiger Walk and received some important words from Auburn offensive tackle and Chicago native Jordan Diamond.
“I was in the same shoes, growing up the same way and I can be a role model for them,” Diamond said. “I am them, I still am.”
Talk about Southern hospitality. To make matters even better, Rinaldi reported that the majority of the trips’ expenses were picked up by various Auburn donors and alumni. Rinaldi also reported that some donors might offer to pay for those students’ college education down the road.
“Family and love has no boundaries,” Jacobs said to Rinaldi. “And now, Schmid school, they’re part of our family.”
Gus Malzahn may have a new recruiting pipeline in Chicago thanks to the kids at Schmid Elementary School.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 31, 2015