Cougar freshman lineman Kilian Zierer of Hohenkirchen Siegertsbrun, Germany lifts weights at College of the Canyons on Wednesday. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

COC lineman Kilian Zierer commits to Auburn

When Auburn University offensive line coach Kenny Dillingham said he could do “the worm,” College of the Canyons offensive lineman Kilian Zierer didn’t believe him.

So Dillingham made a deal. If Zierer committed to Auburn, he would send him a video of him doing the dance move to be posted on Twitter.

On Monday, Zierer committed. And Dillingham made good on his promise.

“It’s the best tweet ever,” Zierer proclaimed.

The 6-foot-7, 290-pound Zierer chose Auburn for more than social media gratification, though. With offers from nearly 20 different four-year programs, he had plenty of options and could afford to be choosy. After visiting Auburn on May 31 (the school offered on May 23), he narrowed his choices down to Auburn, UCLA and TCU.

But things just felt a little different on his Auburn visit. He developed a sense of trust with the coaching staff, who told him he has a good chance of playing for the Tigers in his first season with the program.

“Probably because of (Dillingham’s personality) and because of his honesty,” Zierer said. “If I had any concern, I could talk to him and he answered very honestly. I could just talk about whatever concern I had and he was always very honest about everything.”

The recruiting process was particularly complicated for Zierer, who hails from Hohenkirchen Siegertsbrun, Germany. He was unfamiliar with the process and also had to do his best to explain to his family nearly 6,000 miles away what was happening.

“With my dad, it got better and better because he understood more and more,” Zierer said. “My mother probably still doesn’t know what I’m doing here, but she knows that I’m going to Auburn, Alabama and happy.”

Zierer helped the Cougars offense average 33.6 points per game and log 4,325 yards of total offense in 2018.

COC went 10-0 to win the SCFA National Division, Northern League title. Canyons lost to Ventura College in the first round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs.

Zierer came to Canyons with very little offensive line experience. He said he learned a lot from the coaching staff and their demand for hard work every day.

“I came in here with only one year of offensive line experience, so I didn’t know too much of what was going on,” Zierer said. “Our offensive line system is pretty similar (to four-year schools), like all the steps we do, how we practice, it is pretty similar. I’ve improved so much.”

Zierer said he will head to Alabama to join Auburn’s dancing offensive coordinator in December, meaning he has one season left with the Cougars.

“To not lose in the playoffs and to win the whole thing this year,” Zierer said of this season’s goals. “We lost a lot of sophomores, but the entire freshman unit who was here last year is still, we’re still feeling like we have something to prove this year so we’re pretty fired up.”

“When I was at Auburn, it already felt like it’s going to be a great fit and I talked to the offensive coordinator and the O-line coach, always been honest with me,” Zierer told The Signal. “I have a good chance to play next year. It just all suited me very well.”

Zierer had offers from nearly 20 different four-year programs. He took an official visit to Auburn on May 31 before narrowing down his choices to Auburn, UCLA and TCU before ultimately committing to Auburn on Monday.

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