MADISON, Ala. — Austin Troxell likely will play in the Iron Bowl one day.
Troxell, a four-star offensive tackle from Madison (Ala.) Academy, told SEC Country that his top two schools are Alabama and Auburn. Neither school has an advantage over the other.
“Those two schools are my top two right now,” Troxell said. “Right now, I would say it’s about 50-50.”
The 6-foot-7, 325-pounder is likely to commit at some point before his senior season begins. When that time comes, he says his recruitment will be over. There will be no other visits to other schools. He won’t even take all five official visits. The school he chooses will be the only one he officially visits.
Though his commitment will be coming at some point over the following months, Troxell knows why he would choose either Alabama or Auburn.
On Alabama: “It’s Alabama. If you go to Alabama, you get that Alabama label. If you go to Alabama, when you’re older, I feel like everyone would be so impressed that you played there. I can see people saying ‘Dang, you played at Alabama?’ Not many people have the opportunity to play at Alabama.”
On Auburn: “It’s a family atmosphere. I really like Coach (Gus) Malzahn. I’m really close with Coach (Tim) Horton — the running backs coach. My former teammates are there now, (RB) Malik Miller and (RB) Kerryon Johnson. It would be cool to play with them again.”
Troxell is coming off a recent trip to Alabama, and this one was different than all of the numerous visits he’s taken in the past.
He watched film with offensive line coach Mario Cristobal and he specifically showed him how he would fit into Alabama’s scheme. The Crimson Tide view Troxell as a tackle.
More importantly, he spent a lot of time with Brent Key, Alabama’s co-offensive line coach.
“I got to talk a lot with Coach Key,” Troxell said. “I am trying to build that relationship with him. It’s getting a lot better. I didn’t know him when they hired him (in February). I had no idea how he was going to be, but I really like him. He’s a young guy and very, very smart. He knows what he’s doing.
“I sat in the O-line meeting and I really like how he works with his players. He’s very intelligent with what he does. I really like how he coaches.”
While the Under Armour All-American admits that Alabama and Auburn are on top, he did say that Georgia and Ole Miss have the opportunity to get in the mix, too. He’s high on both of those programs.
“I’m not shutting out any schools. I think any school can get in the mix,” Troxell said. “I really like Georgia and Ole Miss. I really like their programs. I really like Coach (Sam) Pittman at Georgia and Coach (Matt) Luke at Ole Miss. I’m not cutting out them out of the mix.”
Visits to those schools are not set, but he is going to Alabama’s spring game next Saturday. He said he may try to make it to Auburn’s spring game this weekend, but he’s taking the ACT early Saturday morning.
When Troxell makes his decision, he said how he fits into a school’s offense may be the biggest reason for why he chooses to play for that program. So how does he think he fits into Alabama’s or Auburn’s offense?
“I think I could play in either of those systems,” Troxell said. “I think I’m athletic enough to play in Auburn’s spread system and I know I could play in Alabama’s offense.”
Troxell is rated as the nation’s No. 16 offensive tackle and is the No. 3 prospect in the state of Alabama.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.