By Wil Crews
Loachapoka junior football standout J.C. Hart committed to Auburn University Friday, Aug. 12.
“First, I want to give all the glory to God for giving the ability to play the game I love at the next level,” Hart said at Loachapoka High School, just 12 miles from Jordan-Hare Stadium. “I want to thank my parents and family for being my biggest supporters on and off the field. I want to give a special thanks to my mom for doing all she could to make it all happen. Thank you to all the coaches and teammates who supported me and guided me through the process. With that said, for the next three to four years I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Auburn University. War Eagle.”
Hart chose the Tigers over Mississippi State, UCF and Vanderbilt. Hart, a three-star cornerback in the 247 Composite rankings, is the No. 887 player, No. 85 cornerback and No. 33 player in the state of Alabama. Hart is the first Loachapoka player to commit to the Tigers since Montavis Pitts in 2002.
Along with Loachapoka’s close geographical relation to Auburn, and the relationship he built with Auburn secondary coach Zac Etheridge, Hart had another reason for choosing the Tigers. The late Jeff Klein, a former Auburn player and Loachapoka coach, passed away this April 2022 at age 43. Klein was a big reason Hart attended camps at Auburn which eventually led to him being offered.
“He really wanted me to come here,” Hart said of Klein. “He’s a major product in all of this, too. ‘Cause I know he really wanted me to go to Auburn. He even told me like, if I get an Auburn offer, go.”
The 6-foot-2-inch, 175-pound Hart ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at Auburn’s camp in June. Impressive numbers like that, and his over-4.0 GPA, led the Auburn football staff to offer the ‘Poka standout. Hart joins four-star Terrance Love as the only secondary commits in Auburn’s 2023 class so far.