May 25, 2005

Awesome Audie

When describing his star defensive end Audie Augustine, Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast coach Adam Ratkevich tells stories from college assistants and head coaches that have walked through the hallways in the month of May. But there is one story that puts in perspective how quickly Augustine has shot up the recruiting charts.

"The defensive line coach at N.C. State was here watching one of our practices," Ratkevich said. "He coaches some of the best defensive ends in the country every single year. He calls up coach (Chuck) Amato over in Miami, which is probably about an hour away with traffic.

"He tells coach to get over here right away because he's the best defensive linemen that they've seen in Florida. Coach Amato made it there in 45 minutes."

It's easy to see what the coaches like in Augustine.

At the Miami NIKE Training Camp, Augustine blew up. He was dominating in one-on-one drills and with a 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame that allowed him to clock a 4.25-second time in the shuttle and a 29-inch vertical leap, he opened up a lot of eyes.

"I really wasn't into football when I was younger," Augustine said. "I had a lot of people coming up to me and telling me that I should play football. They all told me with my body that I would be a natural fit. Baseball was my game, but once I got in that starting line up as a sophomore, they couldn't get me out.

"I was kind of an unknown the first year, and then last year things started to take off for me on the field."

When college coaches started to make their rounds in South Florida, Augustine's name became more and more of a hot commodity.

"Dave Wannstedt was extremely impressed," Ratkevich said. "They were one of the first to offer him. He said the way that Audie runs down plays from the backside and how he runs down quarterbacks are things that can't be coached. He said the kid either has it or doesn't have it.

"He said Audie has it. It was like he had a script of the plays in practice because he was all over the place."

And so are his rapidly rising scholarship offers.

Ratkevich said N.C. State, Minnesota, Pitt, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Purdue, Auburn, South Carolina, Florida and Ole Miss have officially offered. Oklahoma is in the process of offering a scholarship, and Ratkevich said he's about 90 percent sure that Miami will offer a scholarship soon.

"It's been crazy around here," Ratkevich said. "The first day of practice Iowa and Oklahoma were here. Then the first day of pads we had coach (Tommy) Tuberville from Auburn here. And then coach Wannstedt caused a big stir since he was the former coach of the Dolphins.

"Then coach Mason from Minnesota was here and Urban Meyer from Florida came through. They all loved him and think the potential for him to be something special is there."

There is one question mark with Augustine, though.

"People are all trying to figure out where he's going to play at," Ratkevich said.

"I think he can play either a seven or nine-technique. With this athletic ability, I think he'll be a nine. He also played some tight end and some SAM linebacker. With his physical build and athletic ability some see that intriguing. He also ran the 110 hurdles for our track team, so he's athletically superior."

And if you have any doubts about that, just as the college coaches that have been to Northeast this May because they do have some stories to tell. is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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