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January 19, 2011

Florence's mom talks academics with coaches

Erique Florence is on of the nation's most sought after players for what he can do on the field, but his mother is more concerned about what he will do in the classroom.

"[When he goes to college] I would like to see him accomplish his goals," Ms. Florence said. "Basically, whatever he wants, I'm happy. Just as long as he gets his academics."

Crystal Florence visited the Auburn coaches Wednesday afternoon to talk about the academic options available. Erique is interested in studying business.

Ms. Florence also had the chance to catch up with Erique's lead recruiter, safeties coach Tommy Thigpen.

"Erique and Coach Thig are real close," Ms. Florence said. "A loves him to death. A says all the time how Coach Thig is like a father figure to him."

Erique, who played in both the secondary and at quarterback at Valley High School, is being recruited as a safety by Auburn.

And that's just fine with Mrs. Florence.

"I'd much rather him play defense," she said.

Aside from Auburn, schools including Alabama, Florida and USC are heavily recruiting the state's No. 3 prospect. Erique is scheduled to take an official visit to Alabama this weekend. Last weekend the 6-foot-2 standout and his mother traveled to Los Angeles to visit the Trojans.

A lot of Erique's family and friends are Alabama fans, including his twin brother Eriquel. Erique was even a Crimson Tide fan at one point. But that changed after he went to an Auburn game at Jordan-Hare Stadium when he was about 8 years old.

"He's been an Auburn fan ever since," Ms. Florence said.

With Auburn being just a 30-minute drive from Valley, Ms. Florence admitted that she initially wanted Erique to go somewhere farther away for college. Now, she is up for whatever her son ultimately decides to do on Feb. 2.

"It really doesn't matter," Ms. Florence said. "Whatever makes him happy, makes me happy. I'm just going to stand behind him 100 percent."


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