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June 22, 2011

Auburn commit gaining interest

For Vigor (Ala.) defensive tackle Darius Philon, recruiting is being put on the back burner as he works out with his team during the summer and continues to try and improve as a player.

Philon and his Vigor teammates have begun their summer conditioning and practices, and Philon's focus now is becoming a better player according to him.

"My goal was to go in and get better at what I do," Philon said. "Wherever I can go, I'll go. There is nothing wrong with work and hard work."

One of those ways to get better is attending camps, which is exactly what Philon did recently as he took part in a camp at Alabama. The 6-foot-1, 260-pound prospect put on such a show that he landed an offer from Alabama at the end of the day.

After Philon's most recent offer, Philon said he is working hard to focus on his team rather than recruiting at this point. The Mobile product said is trying to let recruiting take care of itself, and worry about his team and his upcoming senior season instead.

However, since Philon landed his second big in-state offer, there has been talk that his commitment to Auburn may be wavering. Philon said he is still an Auburn pledge, but is adamant that recruiting is secondary on his mind at this point.

"I'm interested in Auburn, I committed to Auburn, I like Auburn. Right now though, I'm just trying to help my team and focus on that," said Philon. "I'm just worried about what I have to do back home, I'm not too worried about where I'll end up right now."

In the meantime, Philon said he hopes to continue to develop and prove people wrong. Philon said he hears the talk about being underrated, and tries not to focus on how people rank him.

"Some people say I'm underrated, but once I committed I think my name got out there," said Philon. "I don't care where folks put me, I just come out and play ball."

Philon's coach, Kerry Stevenson, said Philon is a standout player at defensive tackle and defensive end, and showed that recently at the Alabama camp.

In regards to Philon's early commitment to Auburn and increased interest being shown from other schools, Stevenson said he gave Philon an important piece of advice after his pledge to Auburn.

"I told him that your word is your word," Stevenson said. "I told him that when he committed, and that's important to me that he keep it."


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