That's the case for Auburn's newest commitment, 6-6, 270 offensive lineman Robert Leff from Fairhope High School. He told Inside the Auburn Tigers on Tuesday night that he will sign with Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers in February.
ITAT TV, Robert Leff Game Action:
An early commitment to Southern Miss, Leff had already started having second thoughts about the Golden Eagles when Coach Larry Fedora left for North Carolina. When Auburn offered him a scholarship on Tuesday it pushed him over the edge.
"It's hugely exciting," Leff tells Inside The Auburn Tigers of getting the Auburn offer. "It was my dream to just play college football. To be able to play it at Auburn is beyond that. It wasn't even like a feasible dream to begin with. I never thought it could happen.
"It's crazy," he added. "It hasn't really hit me yet. I had talked to them earlier in the day. When they offered I told them I was pretty sure already, but I wanted to make the decision sound in my mind first. My family is going insane. I have only talked to two people outside my family so far, but the news has already spread. They are all sending me text messages and calling me and wishing me congratulations."
From a long line of Auburn fans, Leff twice camped at Auburn and was impressive, but filling out as a senior and maturing as a player showed the Tigers and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes that he was ready to take his game to the SEC.
"They really started recruiting me pretty late," Leff said. "Towards the middle of the season is the first time I really heard anything from them. Out of the blue they invited me up for a game. I had been to a few of their camps during the summer, but I guess they saw how much I had progressed.
"They had more and more interest in me as the season went along," Leff added. "I went up for the Iron Bowl and it just progressed from there."
On Tuesday the relationship with Auburn's coaches went to the next level for Leff when a high school coach told him to call Auburn because they had some good news. He did that and spoke with Grimes, who told him they wanted him at Auburn.
"He told me they got interested in me pretty late and reviewed my film more and were looking over their options in between recruiting sessions and practice and being on the road," Leff said. "They just decided I would be a good fit."
Leff is shown in action as a senior.
One of the keys for Leff may have been his performance in a win over Auburn High in the first round of the class 6A playoffs. Playing against a very talented team that featured two sons of Auburn University coaches, Cameron Luper and Blaise Taylor, Leff dominated at left tackle to pave the way for a Pirate upset.
Currently 270 pounds after entering his senior year at 255, Leff has continued to grow and mature and should have no problem being 300 pounds down the road at Auburn. Because of that he'll have a chance to play early provided he can put on the mass quickly. He said while it's not the only thing he's looking at with Auburn it's definitely something to consider.
"The whole team is really young," Leff said. "Of course, anytime someone goes to a big school like Auburn playing time is a factor. You might get stuck and not touch the field until your junior or senior year. I know I'll be able to compete for a spot right off the bat and I'm confident I can get a spot."
Leff becomes Auburn's third offensive line commitment for the 2012 class joining juco Will Latu and early enrollee Shane Callahan from Colorado. The Tigers now have 16 commitments overall. Check them out here 2012 Commitments