Four-star defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson committed to Auburn in front of a packed gymnasium at Cedar Grove High School (Ga.) on Thursday.
Jackson, the No. 55 overall player in this year’s class, chose the Tigers over Ohio State, Georgia and Florida.
“I love the coaches and I love the community,” Jackson said recently of Auburn. “I just have a good feeling being there.”
Despite the recent departures of Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson, and the uncertainty surrounding the program’s next defensive coordinator, Jackson found the Tigers to be the best fit because of the proximity to his home near Atlanta, Ga., as well as his relationship with defensive line coach Rodney Garner.
Garner began recruiting Jackson during his time under Mark Richt at Georgia. When he left for the Plains to work under Gus Malzahn’s direction, he continued their relationship.
Evidently, it paid dividends.
Aside from the coaching staff, Jackson told SEC Country in the days leading up to his announcement that he was in search of a community and program he could call home in case his playing days were cut short.
“If I get injured my freshman year and I can’t play another down in life, I have to picture myself being at that school for the rest of my four years,” Jackson told SEC Country in a recent interview. “Basically, I have to love the school and the people there.”
With Jackson’s pledge, Auburn has secured 16 verbal commitments for its 2016 class. Two junior college athletes, Paul James (defensive end) and John Franklin (athlete), have already signed their letters of intent.
Jackson becomes the seventh defensive lineman to have verbally committed to the Tigers. Per 247Sports.com, he is the second highest-rated defensive lineman on Auburn’s big board behind five-star defensive end Marlon Davidson.
He is rated as the No. 5 prospect in Georgia.