Auburn Tigers, Hugh Freeze Hit Home Run with 4-Star Safety Commitment

The Auburn Tigers and Hugh Freeze struck gold with the commitment of four-star safety Eric Winters.
Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze
Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze / Mickey Welsh / Advertiser / USA TODAY
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When it comes to recruiting the very best prospects to any collegiate program, having a head who can really sell the complete package always helps enormously. 

So it proved last week when 4-star safety recruit Eric Winters admitted how the special relationship Auburn Tigers boss Hugh Freeze enjoys with his players ultimately sold him on making a commitment.

"(Freeze) is a big part of why I committed to Auburn," Winters told Chad Simmons of On3. "He loves his players, he is a family guy and we built a great relationship. Coach Freeze is doing big things at Auburn and he made me feel like a priority and made me feel comfortable"

Home cooking certainly factored into Winter's decision to stay in state, but the two-way star at Enterprise (Ala.) High School is particularly sold on the ambitious long term project Freeze has in mind.

Winters certainly has the kind of body that wouldn't look out of place if he were lining up on the backend for an NFL team. Standing at 6-foot-2 inches, and tipping the scales at nearly 200 pounds, Winters should provide some real thump in pass defense, especially if he adds more bulk to his frame.

Pretty much across the board, Winters was regarded as being a top-75 prospect in the entire country. 247Sports ranks Winters as the No. 5 safety nationally. Freeze and Auburn managed to beat out the massed rumored interest of Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and USC to secure the talented safety.

Quite a recruitment masterstroke all told -  one which surely serves notice that the Tigers are fully prepared to mix it against their heavyweight rivals. The past month has also seen cornerback Donovan Starr, defensive prospect Bryce Deas and offensive linemen Broderick Shull all join Winters in committing to Auburn.

Coach Freeze will be delighted to have won the red hot battle for Winters in particular, especially because fellow safeties Jaylin Simpson and Zion Puckett have now departed for the NFL. In addition to gaining a star player, Freeze couldn't have figured how he would also be getting a highly motivated assistant to help with the ongoing recruitment drive.

"I am already working guys," Winters admitted to Simmons. " It starts with my teammate Zion Grady. I am going after Alvin Henderson, Julian lewis, KJ Lacey and some others. Coach Freeze has this group of defensive players in Alabama he wants called the super 7. Guys like Jared Smith, Anquon Fegans, Naseem Offord, and Zion are guys that haven't committed yet.I will be on all of those guys." 

Clearly Winters has plenty of confidence in what he can do both on and off the field, and helping recruit even more top in-state talent would doubtless be greatly appreciated by Freeze.

Up to this point, 15 new recruits have committed to the Tigers, so Winters banging the drum so loudly for others to join him will undoubtedly be making a resounding noise elsewhere in Alabama.

Auburn Daily Staff