Auburn will get another shot at Marlon Character, the 4-star safety who pledged to South Carolina last month after nearly pledging to the Tigers.
The 6-foot, 170-pound safety told the AJC on Monday that despite his commitment to South Carolina, he’ll take official visits to Louisville, Virginia Tech, Miami and Auburn this fall.
Could a visit to Auburn force him to reevaluate his commitment?
“As of now, I can’t say I’m real solid in my decision,” said Character, who’s rated as the country’s No. 13 safety. “It could and it couldn’t. It depends on how I feel once I get down there and I talk to the coach and how my Dad feels about the situation.”
Character, who told the AJC in July that it was a 50-50 decision between the two programs, is adamant that his recruitment isn’t open. He says he can’t see himself going against his word and de-committing so soon. But he does acknowledge that if he somehow changed his mind, it would take something major to happen, though he didn’t mention specifics.
It’s important to know that Character and Auburn have been in constant contact since his South Carolina commitment back in July. Interestingly enough, Character says Auburn has — and always has — recruited him the hardest. Even more than South Carolina.
“I talk to them, I’m not going to lie,” Character said. “They’re interested in me so I’m not going to blow anybody off if I’m not sure that I don’t want them to keep talking to me.”
With that being said, he does have his reservations about the program. Character keeps tabs on Auburn’s recruiting process, and he feels like he may be just another number on the Tigers’ board.
“They tell me they don’t have many guys that are like me or that play the free safety position, but they just got a commit from Stephenson High School (Carlito Gonzalez), and he plays the same position as me,” Character said.
As it stands, Character said he has been told that he’s the highest-ranked defensive back on South Carolina’s big board. He feels that his talent and position align well with the needs of the Gamecocks defense.
“As far as getting the talent that they need, something in my mind tells me they have it,” Character said. “I want to go somewhere where someone needs and wants me. They say they need and want me, but once you get there it could be a different story.”
The same can’t be said about South Carolina, where Character feels like he can make an immediate impact. He also feels it’s the right fit.
“The feeling when I go to South Carolina is nothing like I’ve felt before,” Character said. “I see the future when I go there. I can see myself on the field.”
Character told the AJC that he’ll likely visit South Carolina before visiting Auburn.