Auburn earned a win Friday before the season even started.
For a second year in a row, the coaching staff landed a verbal commitment from the top defensive end in the country with Greenville 5-star prospect Marlon Davidson announcing his decision Friday in a press conference at his school.
“I want to make the best decision for me,” Davidson said, pausing to dig an Auburn hat out of his bag. “I want to take my talents to Auburn University.”
The 6-foot-3, 279-pounder had listed Michigan, Florida St., Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Clemson and Auburn as his seven finalists earlier in the week.
An aspect that separated the Tigers from the pack was his family’s deep connections to the school. His brother Kenneth Carter is a former Auburn defensive lineman (2010-13), and a member of the player development department.
“I see my brother everyday, I look in the house I see his pictures, I see the helmet, the jersey,” Davidson said. “I see (pictures of) my mom, every time I look at a picture she got something Auburn on.”
Davidson’s mother passed away in March from a head injury. He transferred from Carver High School to Greenville for his senior season.
"All this is in remembrance of her,” he said. “I love the fact that this is the school to be.”
Davidson plans to graduate from high school this winter, and enroll early. He won’t be at Auburn’s season opener Saturday, he is making the trip to campus for the team’s home opener against Jacksonville St. on Sept. 12.
While Davidson enthusiastically praised Auburn’s football program, and coaching staff, he did leave the door open for a change of heart.
“I will still take my official visits to anywhere,” Davidson said. “I’m still kind of open, the door is not all the way closed.”
He wants to visit Alabama, Georgia, Florida St. and LSU this fall.
“I’ll choose the official visits late September, and make sure this is the right decision,” Davidson said.