Batesville, Miss.—Auburn’s theme for recruiting defense for the class of 2009 seems to be "versatility," and commitment number 21 also fits that mold.
David Conner of South Panola High School in Batesville, Miss., is a player who lines up all over the field, but likely projects as a safety at Auburn.
“In our league he’s an impact player,” South Panola head coach Lance Pogue tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “We use him all over the field. He’s a great blitzer, big hitter, can cover and he’s an unbelievable special teams player.
"Then we’re going to use him some on offense, too, at running back, and we could use him some at receiver. He can play anywhere on the field and he’s an impact guy for us.
“I think Auburn is recruiting him as a safety,” Pogue adds. “He’ll be a guy who plays also at the line of scrimmage because he’s a good blitzer and big hitter and that kind of thing. Obviously, he’ll also have a major impact in the kicking game. He blocked a lot of punts for us last year.”
As a junior, Conner had 98 tackles and 15 1/2 sacks, a high number for a 5-11, 190-pound prospect.
“He plays everywhere,” Pogue notes. “Whatever week the situation is, we’ll line him up where we think he can make the biggest impact on the game that particular week. He’s a real versatile guy. He’s a real smart football guy.
“He’ll have to get better in coverage to become an elite athlete at that level,” he adds of the transition to the SEC. “He’ll have to get better at covering receivers, but he’s a guy to me that has a lot of potential. There’s no question.”
Conner had offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss before giving his verbal commitment to the Tigers on Monday. He was being recruited by offensive line coach Hugh Nall.
“I’ve known Coach Nall and a lot of those guys for a long time," Pogue says. "They were at Ole Miss years ago and I’ve been knowing them for quite a while.
He had a lot of interest out there,” Pogue says of Conner. "He's a great kid. That’s another thing. He’s going to be bring a lot of positive attributes to the team, not just from a skill standpoint. He’s a great leader and he’s got great character. He’s never lost a high school football game so he knows how to win. He’s a guy who goes to church and he’s a great family kid. He’s a very high character person.”
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