"It was real fun," Atkins said. "I liked hanging out with the guys. It seemed like I was at home. Hanging with two of the best defensive linemen in the State (Georgia) was my favorite part. They told me it would just feel like family and like you're at home. They said once you get used to being down there you'll come out of your shell. Gabe said as soon as he got there he felt at home."
With offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Tennessee among others, Atkins said one of the reasons he put Auburn on his visit list was that he also has an offer from the Tigers. Getting it several weeks back, he said he was already high on Auburn, but following his visit they're definitely in the running for his services.
"I had heard from Coach (Ted) Roof," Atkins said. "He had been wanting me to come down. Auburn has set the standard for the other schools to live up to Auburn because of how they did the visit."
Saying he's still looking around before he comes up with a firm top group, Atkins said that there's no question for him the Tigers are going to make the list now. One of the reasons is because of his comfort level with the program and the coaching staff, in particular defensive line Coach Mike Pelton.
"Coach Pelton is real fun to be around," Atkins said. "He's real cool. He also knows about football. He's going to coach you up right and get you where you want to be."
Playing on offense as tight end and offensive tackle the last two seasons, Atkins will focus on his defensive tackle position as a senior. He said for him it's a good move and he's looking forward to his final season on the field.
"The transition has been easy," Atkins said. "Once I started using my hands things came along pretty good."
Saying he plans to make a return visit to Auburn later this summer and official visits this fall to the schools he has visited unofficially already (Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech), Atkins said he hopes to have a decision made before his senior season begins.