Dadeville, Ala.—Growing up in a small Alabama town, Auburn
commitment and four-star prospect Darrion Hutcherson
has been used to watching football in the South and taking part in camps and 7-on-7 passing competitions close to home. That all changed last weekend when he played in the Badger National 7-on-7 in Dallas, Tex.
Teaming up with fellow commitment and close friend Zeke Pike, Hutcherson said he enjoyed having the opportunity to face off against some of the best players in the country.
"I went out there not knowing what to really expect coming from the South and Auburn football, but there was some good competition," Hutcherson said. "It was fun to be playing against a lot of very fast players. It helped me in my route running."
Checking in at 6-7, 247, Hutcherson is a huge target at the tight end position and has the ability to play outside in a slot receiver spot as well. He said that's something he's been working on more and more with last weekend showing him exactly what he needs to improve on before next year.
"I learned a lot of things," Hutcherson said. "I know you've got to play fast on the next level. Going up against those guys it showed me you've got to give it your all against them.
"Most schools at tight end would need me to put my hand on the ground to play tight end," he added. "I just want to show people that tight ends can be athletic too and can play in a spread out offense too."
Playing for the "Goon Squad" along with Pike and several more top prospects, Hutcherson said for him it was just a natural fit after he and his future quarterback have become such good friends in the last few months of the recruiting process.
"We are already planning stuff out for when we get down there," he said of he and Pike. "We're going to be staying in the same dorm room. We're definitely getting closer and that's what we've got to have. That's what it's about as Auburn, a family."
That's one of the reasons why Hutcherson was so set on making the trip to Dallas to play with Pike in the tournament. It was so important that even when he missed his flight out of Birmingham it didn't deter him from making good on his promise. Instead of turning around and going home Hutcherson got on a bus and rode it to Dallas and back to play in the tournament.
Since committing to Auburn early in the spring Hutcherson has been on several trips to other schools along with teammates such as Rod Crayton and Rashad Blackwell. Getting the opportunity to not only visit campuses but also participate in camps such as last weekend's 7-on-7 has given Hutcherson a chance to enjoy being committed while also talk up Auburn.
"It's really fun," Hutcherson said. "You feel and know what it's like to be recruited, but you can also get out there and recruit players and help the school out too. It's fun taking trips and seeing new places and meeting new people. That's what I've been doing basically. When I went out to Texas I talked to some players down there about how good the Auburn program is. I let them know that's where football is played and about the national championship."
Coming out of nowhere to explode onto the recruiting scene, Hutcherson went from little-known prospect to four-star in the blink of an eye. That meant a lot of time on the phone with coaches during the spring as schools tried to get in on him, but it was too little and too late. Since then he's just been enjoying life as an Auburn commitment he said.
"It has been real different," Hutcherson said. "I don't regret it one bit, but it has been different. Things have died down. I am actually beginning my journey at Auburn pretty early because I'm building relationships with a lot of the players I'll be playing with."
Preparing for his senior year and hoping for yet another huge season at Dadeville where the Tigers are 33-4 in the last three years, Hutcherson said he's planning to be in Auburn later this month for a camp as he continues to work on improving his play heading into the 2011 season.
"It's definitely exciting," Hutcherson said. "I'm going to work every day at workouts. I'm also going to be back in Auburn for a one-day camp on July 16. Basically I'm just going to try to get ready for my high school season.
"I think I'm going to work out at the camp," he added. "It just makes you feel good to work out at the camps. You don't have to show anything like some of the other guys, but it's about working hard and having fun. I think it will be laid back and I can learn some things."
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