One of Georgia’s top punters committed to Auburn on Wednesday night.
Marietta High School’s Ian Shannon picked the SEC school over offers from Georgia Tech and Virginia, among others.
“Auburn was the first school that I visited, and it was love at first sight,” Shannon told the AJC. “The people there are the kind of people I want to associate myself with and I’d be proud to be a part of. The coaches at Auburn have always been very honest with me through my recruiting which made it comforting knowing the people I would be playing for … for the next four years were honest people and really wanted me.
The 6-foot-4 Shannon said it wasn’t an easy decision.
“Auburn just had the most pros and benefits. Georgia Tech’s recruiter is alum of my high school, which is a very tight family — so it was hard to tell him that I wouldn’t be joining him at Georgia Tech,” he said.
“Virginia was an amazing school with great coaches … so it made for a harder decision. In the end, I really love my family and wasn’t ready to make that change in my life (to go far away). But other schools were in the running, too. Georgia State would have been a good fit for the business degree available. I have done a lot of homework on all of these schools.”
Shannon is expected to compete for immediate playing time at Auburn next season at punter with Daniel Carlson. “He is by all means capable of doing everything but the coaches don’t want him having to do everything and let him focus on kicking and kickoffs,” Shannon said.
Last year as a junior, Shannon showed off a booming leg, averaging 40.7 yards on 37 punts. He is an accomplished kicker, too. He made 42 of 45 extra points and 16 of 18 field goals, including a 49-yarder to beat North Cobb as time expired. He made his last 12 field goals of the season. His two misses came from 47 and 58 yards.
“I feel like the offers I had were all schools I could have really pictured myself at,” Shannon said. “I took a few weeks to make sure that this was the right decision and I completely stand by my decision. Auburn is one amazing place and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to go there. Thanks of course to my coaches (at Marietta) — Guckian, Burton, Critt, Meade, Houstalakis and the rest of them.”