Alabaster, Ala.—Growing up just outside of Birmingham, talented football prospect Brandon King was one of a family of Auburn fans. On Sunday one of his childhood dreams came true when Coach Gus Malzahn and the Tigers made the talented junior college safety a scholarship offer, putting Auburn immediately as one of the favorites to land him when signing day comes in February.
"It's pretty cool," King tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "My family are Auburn fans. Before Coach Malzahn was hired I went down to Auburn after my freshman year on an unofficial visit during the summer, but I got the offer today."
At 6-2, 214 and with a self-reported 40-yard dash time of 4.36 seconds, King earned All-Jayhawk Conference honors as a safety for Highland Junior College while also playing some defensive end and outside linebacker in 2012. That combination of size, speed and football ability has schools from all over the country interested in the former standout at Thompson High School.
"I have offers from Memphis, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Toledo, Akron, Utah State, South Alabama, Wyoming and several more schools."
With plenty of options to choose from King said he's already narrowed his decision down to Auburn, Ole Miss and Arizona State and will visit all three in the month of January before making his final choice.
Visiting Auburn on Jan. 11, King said he's anxious to get to know the new coaching staff more and get a feel for them after hearing great things about Ellis Johnson, Charlie Harbison, Rodney Garner and Melvin Smith from people all over the country.
"I have heard from numerous people all over the country that aren't even affiliated with Auburn that they are putting together a great staff," King said. "It's one of the best if not the best staff in college football. I have heard that from Mississippi State fans, from all around, even from Kansas where I go to school."
Being recruited as a safety by the Tigers for the 4-2-5 defensive scheme of Johnson, King said that while it's good news to know there will always be three safeties on the field for the Tigers and thus a better chance of playing time, he's not afraid of competition no matter what school he chooses.
"I'm not really concerned about that because I have been through competition a lot," King said. "I know that my decision will be the best fit regardless. If anybody is going to outwork me or do better than me then they deserve it. I'm not really worried about that aspect of it."
A starter for two seasons in junior college, King went that route after just missing qualification coming out of high school. Getting some looks from schools such as San Diego State while a senior, King signed with Norfolk State and needed a 2.4 GPA to go along with his test score to qualify. Finishing with a 2.37 GPA instead, he decided to go the junior college route and work to improve himself both on the field and in the classroom.
Now on the doorstep of achieving a lifelong dream of playing Division I football, King said it's hard to imagine how far he's come, but he's not about to stop now.
In addition to his visit to Auburn on Jan. 11, King said he'll visit Ole Miss on Jan. 18 and Arizona State on Jan. 25 before making his decision. A May graduate, King has three years to play two on the next level.