Does Auburn Have The Wright Stuff For Big DL?

Defensive lineman Gabe Wright talks about his official visit to Auburn over the weekend.

Columbus, Ga.--While Auburn is looking for help at several key positions perhaps none is as glaring as the need at defensive tackle. With seniors Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc gone as well as All-American Nick Fairley, the Tigers return just four players at the position and none with starting experience.

Because of that the Tigers have focused on Carver standout Gabe Wright for much of the recruiting process. A four-star prospect, Wright has offers from just about every major school in the South and is down to just Auburn, Alabama, and the Tennessee Vols following his weekend trip to the Plains.

"It just feels good to get my last official out of the way," Wright said. "I put Auburn last for a reason. I was always told to put your favorite school last so you can get that best feeling last so you can make all the necessary choices. I've made a pros and cons list already. I still have some things to sort out.

"I feel like next year is going to be somewhat of a rebuilding year," he added. "If you think about it every team goes through that, especially after winning a national championship. I just have some things to work out."

One of Auburn's biggest recruiting weapons for Wright is defensive line coach Tracy Rocker. Building a strong relationship over several months of visits, Wright said having another opportunity to sit down with Rocker was one of the highlights of the trip.

"Our relationship is one of the best," Wright said. "I'm still building on with coach (Chuck) Smith. Me and coach Rock have always had that relationship where we could talk about anything. His past and my past and future talk…he loves it there. It's where he played."

That lack of depth at Auburn is one of the selling points for the Tigers with Wright. While he acknowledges that he added every school he's looking at has a need at the moment but Auburn in particular.

"All three of the school I'm looking at have a legit chance to play early," Wright said. "Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn all have limited depth. Tennessee probably has the most depth but it's just not guys coach (Derek) Dooley and his staff have recruited. Auburn's depth is crazy.

"They lost four seniors and Nick Fairley and three of them were interior guys that really carried the load. A lot of the reason Nick got some of the production he got was because of Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc. Who's to say I can't come in and help out. I saw Jeff (Whitaker) play in the Alabama game in the first half. It means a lot."

Admitting that he's probably visited Auburn close to 20 times Wright said it's sometimes hard to learn anything new about the Tigers. Last weekend he was in for Auburn's BCS National Championship Celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium and this time around he said it was talk of facilities that caught his attention.

"They talked about blowing up the old arena and building a parking deck," Wright said. "They talked about building on another layer to the stadium and making it 100,000. I even heard the indoor facility was going to be done before two-a-days. Everything seems to be really coming together.

"Everything that Auburn is building Tennessee really already has," he added. "It's definitely not going to come down to facilities though. We had limited facilities at Carver and we went undefeated. It won't come down to that.

"For me it's just relationships," he added. "I don't need too much of anything. I just need to feel comfortable and my last three schools I feel comfortable with."

Wright and teammate Isaiah Crowell plan to announce at 12:30 central time on Wednesday at a ceremony in Columbus.

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