Gabe Wright Goes With The Tigers

Four-star defensive lineman Gabe Wright chose Auburn on Wednesday, picking the Tigers over Tennessee and Alabama.

Columbus, Ga.--Auburn got help to fill its biggest need in the 2011 recruiting class on Wednesday when Carver standout Gabe Wright made it official, signing with the Tigers over Alabama and Tennessee in a ceremony shown live on ESPNU. A four-star prospect, Wright is considered one of the top defensive linemen in the country by

In the ceremony Wright donned an Auburn hat that he first put on backwards. There was an inscription that said "Nick Who" on the hat, something Wright said was aimed at departed junior Nick Fairley.

"I believe when players leave they may leave behind their legacy but truly their spirit lives on," Wright said. "It has nothing to do with Nick Saban and everything to do with Nick Fairley."

Gabe Wright

Wright said one of the toughest things about making the decision for him was just letting the other schools know he wouldn't be attending their school.

"It came down to me Tennessee and Auburn," Wright said. "It was 50/50. In all actuality I could really flip a coin. That's how tied this whole decision was. It just had to come down to who was there first and who had been there the longest and where I ultimately feel comfortable at. That was Auburn."

Losing seniors Mike Blanc and Zach Clayton in the middle as well as the junior All-American Nick Fairley, coach Tracy Rocker definitely has a need for guys to come in and play immediately and Wright has a good chance to be one of those players.

"They lost four seniors and Nick Fairley and three of them were interior guys that really carried the load," Wright said. "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.

"It won't be easy," he added about picking up the slack. "I know it's a process. I know Nick went through juco to get to where he's at. I know it's going to take a long, hard time and plenty of hitting Isaiah (Crowell) to get there."

Familiarity is also something that worked well in Auburn's favor. A multiple visitor to the Plains to see the Tigers and talk with the coaches, Wright said having the chance to know more and more about Auburn was big for him.

"I have been to Auburn about 20 times," Wright said. "Nothing really changes on my visits. If anything it's just a chance to learn even more about them. That's another plus is Auburn only being 45 minutes away."

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