Daquan Newkirk and Auburn define the oft-used recruiting term “commitment.”
It’s an overused phrase, really, hence the regularity of the term de-commitment. Newkirk had many moments over the last two years to go in a different direction. Auburn could’ve easily done the same. But the 4-star junior college defensive lineman and the Tigers’ coaching staff stayed true to a word made in the Class of 2016.
It’s finally paying dividends in the Class of 2018.
Newkirk wrapped up his official visit Sunday to bookend a whirlwind junior-college detour. He will move in and participate in bowl practices, starting Monday.
Maybe then the buzz of actually being an Auburn Tiger will wear off.
“It will hit me on Monday. Overwhelming and also happy. I’m still in shock, but it’s all a good feeling,” Newkirk said. “[It’s been] long, very long. As you guys can tell, very long. It’s just good for it to finally be over.”
Newkirk originally joined the Tigers in 2016 as a lesser-known prospect from Orlando, Fla. He was part of a class that included Marlon Davidson, Derrick Brown, Nick Coe, Antwuan Jackson and Paul James III. But Newkirk’s academic status forced a redirection to Mississippi Gulf Coast C. C.
As Newkirk describes, he was just an “under-the-radar kid trying to get offered” during high school and junior college. Auburn was always there, however, and the Tigers never wavered on their commitment to him, which made his choice simple once other programs started showing interest the last few months.
“[Auburn’s commitment was] very important because through my journey a lot of schools turned their back but Auburn didn’t. That’s very special to me,” he said. “As you can tell no one really knows about me. Every time I got offered by a big school I didn’t post it on Twitter. I was just a humble guy throughout my whole process. I didn’t really communicate with a lot of people, I just stuck to myself.”
Now Newkirk wants to come in and compete. He wants to be a part of the nationally-acclaimed defensive line that includes most of his original 2016 class members. Newkirk has the versatile ability to play defensive tackle and defensive end, much like Davidson and Coe.
He’s motivated to crack the rotation immediately with three years of eligibility remaining.
“Definitely. I can get in [the rotation] very soon,” Newkirk said.