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Auburn winning the in-state battle

Even before Brent Calloway made the switch from the Tide to the Tigers last week, Auburn was winning the in-state recruiting battle.

Calloway is ranked as the state of Alabama's top prospect/Bryan Matthews photo

Now, it’s become a near rout.

Of the top six prospects in the state of Alabama ranked by 247Sports.com, Auburn already has commitments from four and a fifth, Valley safety Erique Florence is a strong lean who is planning a Signing Day commitment.

Alabama’s only commitment from the top six is Vigor wide receiver Marvin Shinn.

Auburn also went head-to-head against Alabama for Davidson defensive lineman JaBrian Niles and Sweet Water linebacker Chris Landrum and won both. Alabama had its share of victories too, such as Minor defensive back Chris Jones and LeFlore receiver Danny Woodson.

What makes Auburn’s in-state class even more impressive is most of the players committed well before Auburn made its run for the 2010 BCS Championship and just months removed from Alabama’s 2009 Championship.

Even Calloway’s switch had little to do with Auburn’s perfect season. The athlete from Russellville described Auburn and its coaching staff as a family-like and a fun atmosphere. He described Alabama as more business-like.

“Auburn seems to care more about what I want,” Calloway said shortly after announcing his switch on national T.V. “They’re weren’t bashing Alabama or other schools that I was getting recruited by. They were saying go with your heart and do what you want and at the end of the day if Auburn is where you choose, then we’re happy for you. If not, we’re still happy for you.

“It feels good. I feel like I got a weight off my shoulders.”

Calloway had been committed to Alabama for more than 18 months and there was a lot of pressure for him to stick with the Tide. But in the end, he went with his heart and will have a chance to step in and play early as a running back at Auburn this fall.

Leeds cornerback Jonathan Rose, who is rated No. 2 in the state by 247, and Spanish Fort center Reese Dismukes, rated No. 6, have both already enrolled at Auburn and should compete for immediate playing time.

Dismukes, who was a standout at both the Alabama-Mississippi All-star game and Under Armour all-star game, could be Auburn’s starting center this fall.

Leroy wide receiver Sammie Coates, rated No. 5, is a raw receiver with stunning athletic skills who should have a big upside at Auburn once he makes the transition from playing at the Class 2A level.

Rose, Dismukes and Coates all led their teams to state championships this season.

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