NAVARRE, Fla. — Auburn 4-star offensive guard commit Nick Brahms is headed from the Sunshine State to the Loveliest Village on the Plains early next month.
But first, he has a special detour to take.
Brahms is headed to San Antonio, Texas, during the first week of January for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He won’t play in the game, though, because of a serious leg injury he suffered just before the start of his senior season at Navarre (Fla.) High School.
“I went to pull, and somebody fell on my leg,” Brahms told SEC Country on Friday. “Broke my fibula. I had 10 screws put in.”
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Brahms, who officially signed with Auburn earlier this week, has been in a long recovery process since the injury in August. He’s excited about the chance to continue his rehab with the Tigers’ strength and conditioning staff.
“That’ll be huge. I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m looking skinny,” Brahms said with a laugh. “But I’ll gain it back. I’ll be better than ever and stronger than ever with them. I think it’s huge. (Auburn strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell) knows what he’s doing.”
Brahms will arrive at Auburn on Jan. 8 — one day after the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. He’ll come straight to the Plains from the Lone Star State.
The offensive guard earned his invitation to the bowl game in April, just as his recruitment started to take off. He picked up 35 scholarship offers in a short amount of time as a high-rising recruit.
“That was a dream come true, man,” Brahms said of his invite. “I remember growing up and watching those games on TV, man, and thinking about how much I wanted to do that when I got to that level playing football. It was a dream come true when I got invited. I won’t be able to play, but it’ll be a good experience. I can’t wait.”
Brahms doesn’t know if he’ll be able to participate in spring practices for the Tigers. But the coaching staff had his back throughout his entire recovery, and it sees him as a strong offensive guard.
Although he played everywhere on the offensive line, the 6-foot-4 Brahms relishes the opportunity to play on the interior in Auburn’s run-first offense.
“You just get to put people in the dirt, man,” Brahms said. “That’s what the offensive line is all about. I’m excited about that.”
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Brahms is part of a strong 2017 offensive line class that could grow before National Signing Day in February. The Tigers also have commitments from 5-star tackle Calvin Ashley and 4-star tackle Austin Troxell.
Brahms said Auburn assistant Herb Hand is trying to sign the No. 1 offensive line class in the entire country. According to SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk, the Tigers are also targeting Alabama 5-star commitment Alex Leatherwood, Adrian Ealy, Jordan Tucker and Cesar Ruiz in this year’s class.
Leatherwood, who hails from nearby Pensacola, Fla., has become close friends with Brahms in the recruiting process. While Leatherwood is a firm commitment to the Crimson Tide, Brahms said he’s still doing his part trying to recruit him and other linemen to join the Tigers.
“I tell them that Auburn is the place to be,” Brahms said. “They have your back. It’s family. You don’t get that anywhere else. That’s what I tell them. We focus on things that matter. That’s a big deal for me, and that should be a big deal for other recruits.”