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July 18, 2012- - Auburn continued their recruiting momentum on Wednesday, as Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict's Rivals250 four-star running back Jordan Wilkins has committed to the Tigers.
Wilkins called Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and running backs coach Curtis Luper on Wednesday to relay the good news. Wilkins credits the relationship he built with the Auburn coaching staff as a crucial factor in his decision.
"I'm really close to all the coaches. Knowing I can come and talk to my coaches about anything is great, it's a big relationship thing we have going," Wilkins said. "Playing at Auburn is huge, playing early is another big thing.
"When I first came, like two months ago, I fell in love with it. They've always been my top and I was just going to wait. I took that one visit to Michigan and I realized I was done. I knew Auburn was the place for me."
Wilkins relationship with Luper played an important role.
"He was really big," said Wilkins. "Having a good relationship with him, I trust him. It's a really big deal with me and him. That's what helped me make my decision."
It's the second straight year Auburn has garnered a commitment from a four-star running back from Memphis, ultimately signing Jovon Robinson from Wooddale High School in 2012. Wilkins is a 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back who ranks as the nation's No. 11 back and No. 128 overall prospect.
And if the day wasn't big enough for Wilkins, his decision fell on his 18th birthday.
Wilkins chose Auburn over finalists Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Michigan. He holds 25 college offers. Auburn now has 17 commitments in the 2013 recruiting class and will move to No. 7 in the Rivals.com team rankings.
Wilkins visited Auburn at the beginning of June, admittedly almost pledging to the Tigers at that point. He held off, visiting Michigan shortly after. Wilkins draw to Vanderbilt was greatly increased by his brother, Trey, playing for the Commodores.
As for his recruitment, Wilkins appears done.
"I think I'm shutting it down. I'm 100 percent done. That's final," Wilkins said. "I might take an official to Auburn, but nothing other than that."
Wilkins enjoyed a great spring as he moved up five spots in the running back position rankings after winning MVP honors at the Rivals.com/VTO Alabama Camp. As a junior, Wilkins rushed for over 1,700 yards and 25 touchdowns. He becomes only the fifth commitment on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers, joining wide receiver Earnest Robinson, quarterbacks Jeremy Johnson and Jason Smith, and tight-end Arshad Jackson.
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