Former Auburn defensive back enrolls at Troy

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Former Auburn safety Erique Florence has transferred to Troy. He is enrolled in classes and will participate in fall practice.

“We are pleased that Erique has decided to come to Troy. We have success in the past with young men that needed a second chance to continue their education and playing career,” said head coach Larry Blakeney. “After talking with Erique and his mother we feel that he is a young man that deserves that chance.”

Florence, a Valley High School product, left Auburn’s team due to personal reasons in March. He recorded 23 tackles after playing in all 13 games as a freshman in 2011 but didn’t seem to fit in Brian VanGorder’s defense last season playing mostly in sub-packages.

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The Messenger was the first to report Florence’s interest in Troy via its website on July 23 after he was spotted visiting the campus the day before

The former Under Armour All-American Game participant will be a junior, his eligibility for the 2013 season is still uncertain.

Blakeney said that there is a possibility that Troy could file for a waiver in an attempt to make him eligible for the upcoming season.

Florence has a redshirt year available so has three years to play two seasons.

“He had some options, he had some connections with other schools in the south. We knew about him and his situation so we brought him over, we felt like we had the best option for him,” Blakeney said.

“He is a gifted athlete. I really like him, he’s very respectful. We’ve had some good luck with kids that didn’t find what they were looking for at another school. He’s a special kid, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure he made the right decision and gets the college education that he’s looking for.”

Florence picked Auburn over USC and Alabama as the nation’s No. 4 safety according to Inc. and the No. 52 player overall on the ESPNU 150. He was listed as a 4-star recruit by many scouting services.

Troy has a pair of senior safeties returning this year in Chris Pickett and Camren Hudson.