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Auburn flips nation’s No. 1 JUCO running back Octavius Matthews from Louisville

Itawamba Community College running back Octavius Matthews flipped his verbal commitment from Louisville to Auburn Sunday.
Itawamba Community College running back Octavius Matthews flipped his verbal commitment from Louisville to Auburn Sunday. Courtesy

Boom, commit and repeat.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was at it again Sunday afternoon hinting at the team’s second verbal commit in less than 24 hours over Twitter.

“Boom!!!!! #WarEagle,” Malzahn tweeted.

It was the same tweet that preceded the news McAdory High School athlete Malcolm Askew picked Auburn over Clemson and Ole Miss on Saturday.

Malzahn’s tweet to cap off the weekend was in reference to the top 2017 junior college running back Octavius Matthews flipping his verbal commitment from Louisville to Auburn.

Both recruits were on campus this weekend as part of Auburn’s eighth annual Big Cat Weekend, a recruiting event aimed at gathering the Tigers top targets on campus. The Itawamba Community College freshman shared his decision on social media.

“It’s been a very long experience..but after having a long talk with my coaches and family..I will be decommittng from Louisville, I wanna thank all the Louisville coaches for everything they done for me…!!” Matthews tweeted.

Matthews, who also had offers from Mississippi State and UAB, made a new pledge less than 15 minutes later to Auburn with a separate tweet.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounds could provide Auburn valuable depth at running back following Roc Thomas’ recent decision to transfer.

Matthews rushed for 808 yards with four touchdowns in 10 games for an ICC team that finished 5-5 (4-2 Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges). He also caught 13 passes for 147 yards with two touchdowns. The freshman had a robust 8.6 yards per carry and closed out the season with four 100-yard rushing performances in his team’s final five games.

As a high school senior for North Jackson, Matthews had more than 2,000 yards for scrimmage with 30-plus touchdowns.

The three-star ranked back will have two years of eligibility left.

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