Juco Running Back Tells Why He Chose Auburn

Auburn picked up a commitment from big junior college running back Cameron Artis-Payne on Thursday who discusses his decision to play for the Tigers in this report.

Santa Maria, Calif.--One of the top junior college running backs in the country, 5-11, 215 Cameron Artis-Payne from Allan Hancock College, put an end to his recruiting on Thursday when he announced his commitment to the Auburn Tigers during a ceremony at the college's gymnasium.

Choosing the Tigers over Washington and Utah, the physical runner said in the end it was an easy decision for him after visiting Auburn earlier this week.

"One of the most important things in making my decision was me feeling comfortable at the school," Artis-Payne tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I felt real comfortable at Auburn. It's a family environment there and I really like the coaching staff. I think it's a place that has put out great running backs previously. Coach (Curtis) Luper has put out a lot of NFL running backs so that's exciting to hear."

Cameron Artis-Payne takes the handoff

Having already visited his other favorites, Artis-Payne made a visit to Auburn on Sunday following a loss to Bakersfield a day earlier. Getting a chance to see the campus and get a feel for the coaching staff and players currently on the roster, he said everything just fell into place for him once that happened.

"It was real important for me," Artis-Payne said. "I wanted to see everything that Auburn had to offer. You can't really tell if you like the school or not until you get there."

Scheduled to be a December graduate, Artis-Payne is going to have a chance to enroll and go through spring practice with the Tigers. That's a big deal for a player looking to play early on the next level. With Tre Mason heading into his junior year and the only established back on the Auburn roster heading into 2013, he said that his chances to play early are good at Auburn.

"It's really big," Artis-Payne said. "For me to have a chance to come in and play early at an SEC school, that's something I was hoping for when I came out here to California. I got what I was hoping for."

With 220 carries for a school record 1,838 yards and 22 touchdowns this year, Artis-Payne hopes to finish his season with a bang in the final regular season game for the Bulldogs this weekend. He'll do so as an Auburn commitment and one who is ready to get his career started on the Plains.

"We're coming back better than ever next year," Artis-Payne said of the Auburn Tigers. "We're going to try to repeat what they did in 2010. War Eagle!"

Artis-Payne becomes the second running back commitment for the Tigers joining Jordan Wilkins, a high school player whose season was ended prematurely by a serious ankle/leg injury.

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