Top Juco prospect Jeffrey M’ba of France commits to the Auburn Tigers

At last week’s NCAA early signing day, hundreds of high school prospects across the nation eagerly threw on their hats and chose their future college programs with pride. Yet, the nation’s top junior college prospect Jeffrey M’ba took a different approach.

The French talent announced his commitment to Auburn University live on French television Sunday night. After a short interview with French NFL commentators, the question was asked where will you go next? M’ba slowly grinned then teased a Mizzou hat and then a second hat before proudly hoisting an Auburn Tigers T-shirt. It turns out M’ba had already signed with Auburn a few days ago but waited to make it public.

M’ba explains why he chose the Tigers:

“A lot of schools wanted me, and to my face they said they wanted me, but I didn’t feel the love like I did with Auburn. Some of the schools had a big name, a big brand and put a lot of players in the NFL, but I said since the beginning I would try to go somewhere I would be loved and where I could go to the league. I wanted to go to a place where they really wanted me.” (via 247sports)

Auburn’s defensive line coach Nick Eason on the Tigers new French connection:

“He’s long, athletic, and big. He brings a lot of tenacity and hustle to the defensive line room. He can play on all three downs A great character guy who loves ball. We are really excited to have him. War Eagle!”

The 6’6,” 305-pound defensive tackle surged up the recruiting boards this year after a standout season at Independence Community College in Kansas. At the junior college made famous by Netflix’s “Last Chance  U” the international pass rusher has been a force to be reckoned with, racking up 40 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, and a 45-yard scoop and score. Following the season, M’ba was evaluated as the top junior college prospect in the nation by 247sports.

M’ba’s play drew attention from across the nation receiving over thirty scholarship offers from blue-chip programs such as Miami, Tennesse, LSU, Michigan, USC, and Oklahoma. For Mb’a the junior college route has paid off as he’s now part of the prestigious Auburn Tigers program:

“When I came here I understood my abilities. But I need to understand the whole play. Now if I go to college I won’t be lost. I understand more about football. If I didn’t come here I would’ve gone to college and been lost. Juco is what has helped me in this process, and I feel confident because of it. “

The young man’s college football journey hasn’t been without bumps in the road. Back in 2018, M’ba was rated as a four-star high school prospect with major offers from power five programs such as FloridaFlorida StateTennesse, Penn State, and others. The Frenchman initially committed to the University of Virginia in the spring of 2019. However, transcript and SAT issues ended his Cavalier career before it started. Mb’a sheds light on his complicated recruiting experience in Charlottesville.

“I reclassified myself in the class of 2020. I was planning to do another year to get good grades and improve my SAT. That’s when I was getting big offers at that time, because the coaches knew I had another year to improve. Then I went to UVA for a junior day. They told me I could go to the school that summer.”

After de-committing from UVA M’ba suited up the Pionniers de Touraine in his hometown back in France. Yet, in France’s niche football scene, small crowds and minimal scouting left M’ba wondering what his next step was. Fortunately for him, Kansas Juco ball was calling:

“When I was in France, this was a year where I did nothing. I just hung out with friends and family.  I was like yeah I need to go back to America, I need to get back to playing football, without it, I feel lost. I knew I would get the chance. I talked to a lot of Juco’s. I talked to independence and I thought it was best for me.”

Originally from the Congo, but raised in Pessac, France the future Auburn Tiger started his football journey as a member of the Kangourous de Pessac and eventually worked his way up to the French national team. After committing from UVA M’ba suited up the Pionniers de Touraine in his hometown. Yet, in France’s niche football scene, small crowds and minimal scouting left M’ba wondering what his next step was. Fortunately for him, Kansas Juco ball came calling.

M’ba in uniform for France’s national team

Auburn is thrilled to get the commitment from the nation’s top junior college prospect. The addition of the long-armed defensive tackle gives coach Bryan Harsin’s defense a great weapon in the trenches for the upcoming season in the ultra-competitive SEC conference. Auburn had an incredible early signing day as multiple highly recruited prospects chose the Tigers propelling Auburn to the 15th highest-ranked recruiting class in the nation.

Read more about France’s top college prospect

Watch M’ba season highlights here:

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football