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Sunday, January 20, 2013
UF commit Hearns discusses Auburn visit

By Derek Tyson

Four-star Florida linebacker commit linebacker James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) officially visited Auburn this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound ESPN 300 member said he enjoyed his time at Auburn.

"It was good," Hearns said. "We went to a basketball game, they played Kentucky. We took a tour to see the campus. I got to tour the business school. We got to see all the athletic facilities and things like that."

While on his visit Hearns -- who was hosted by another Tallahassee product, T.J. Davis -- had a chance to talk with new Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.

"They were just talking to me about how they need linebackers and talking about early playing time," Hearns said. "They talked about how their program is on the upswing and that they are in the rebuilding stages. They wanted me to be a part of that."

So where does Hearns stand after his trip?

"I'm still committed to Florida," Hearns said. "It's not like this thing just popped up. Coach [D.J.] Durkin was aware of me taking this visit and is aware everything that is going on. So there's nothing deceitful going on. I've been open with him and it's been that way throughout the entire process. He's been open with me and I've been open with him. So there's not bad blood or anything between me and Florida."

Durkin was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator on Thursday. Hearns thinks Florida made the right move.

"I talked Coach Durkin today," he said. "I think it's a good move for them. He's a defensive coach. He's got that mindset with him coaching linebackers. I think he deserves it."

Hearns will take an official visit to Kentucky next weekend.