WSN's Travis now committed to Auburn

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By By Adam Robinson – Sports Editor
With just one week left before National Signing Day, W.S. Neal's Jamar Travis has changed his commitment from the University of Southern Mississippi to the Auburn Tigers.
In December, the 6-1, 298 pound senior committed to Southern Miss after receiving a late invite to the Alabama-Mississippi All Star game in Mobile.
While Travis had previously committed to Southern Miss verbally and now is labeled as a “solid verbal” to Auburn, nothing is certain until National Signing Day next Wednesday. National Signing Day is the first day a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for college football.
Travis finished with 70 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks, five forced fumbles and had two blocked kicks during his senior season for the Eagles in which they went 2-8.
Before all the coaching changes on the Plains, Travis said he knew the former staff really well, including the coach who recruited him James Willis, and previously had an offer from them.
Travis said nothing is 100 percent.
Travis said former Auburn player and coach Willis, who has since accepted a coaching position at the University of Alabama, had something to play in his decision.
When Travis committed to Southern Miss first, Willis' job at Auburn was uncertain due to the recent firing of assistant coaches under former Tiger head coach Tommy Tuberville. Willis was retained by Chizik, but after a couple weeks with the Tigers, moved to Tuscaloosa to become an assistant at Alabama when Lance Thompson left for Tennessee.
Travis said Southern Miss recruiters tried to talk him out of the Auburn decision on Monday.
W.S. Neal High School Eagle head football coach Blaine Hathcock has coached Jamar his whole playing time while at W.S. Neal.
That last day will be in one week for Travis to make up his mind.
Travis' family is divided over the situation.
Travis said Auburn is looking at playing him at the true-nose guard position and Southern Miss would play him at the nose and the three-technique.
Travis said he would play at Southern Miss, but if worked hard at Auburn he could play. If things didn't work out on the Plains, Travis said he would apply something he has always been taught.
Right now, Travis said he is about 95 percent fully committed to Auburn. Although there are numerous early signing periods for college sports, the one that falls on the first Wednesday in February is the most highly followed, since there is no early signing period for football recruits.
Typically, nearly every player offered a scholarship will sign on National Signing Day. Most players will have verbally committed to a school prior to this day; however, verbal commitments are non-binding and there have been several cases where a player will sign with a team other than the one to which the verbal commitment was made.
A National Signing Day ceremony will be held for Travis next Wednesday in the school's library.
Plans are tentatively set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning on the campus of W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton.