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July 26, 2011Auburn continues to look for a talented defensive end in the 2012 class, and hosted one of the southeast's top rising prospects this past weekend.
Decatur (Ga.) Columbia defensive end Jhaustin Thomas named a top five at the beginning of May that did not include Auburn. After Thomas' visit this weekend, the Tigers' have vaulted to the top.
"I really like Auburn," Thomas said. "I don't have a top five. I have interest in some schools, but that has changed the last few weeks. I love the atmosphere, I toured the new indoor facility and it's nice and real big.
"Auburn is probably number one. I was feeling them a little bit, but the visit was a big turning point."
Thomas previous top five included Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Clemson, and Georgia.
"Georgia and Clemson, I'm not interested in that much anymore. I'm still a little interested in Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida. But I'm leaning towards Auburn a lot."
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound end toured the campus, talked with a few different Auburn coaches, and left impressed.
"I talked to coach (Ted) Roof, I really like him," said Thomas. "He sees me as a quick defensive end for them, I would like playing that at Auburn.
"I also spoke with Gene Chizik. He seemed like he really liked me and he wanted me at Auburn."
Thomas said he visited Auburn last spring when the Tigers' hosted LSU. Thomas also has visited with the Auburn basketball coaches in the past, and has seen the basketball facilities and weight room.
"It was all impressive, I liked it," Thomas said.
Thomas plays both football and basketball, and Auburn is interested in giving Thomas' the ability to play both in college. Thomas claims that Auburn has recently offered him in basketball as well as football, and that factor remains an important one for Thomas.
"I'm real interested in Auburn, they want me to play both sports, and that's big for me," Thomas said. "I really only want to go somewhere that will let me play both."
The talented multi-sport star from Georgia said he plans a decision in the next few weeks, before the season starts.
Thomas said he plans to visit South Carolina before his senior season begins.
As a junior, Thomas recorded 15 sacks and over 80 tackles.