The Barber Is In

Auburn running back commitment Peyton Barber talks about his decision and how important his official visit was to choosing the Tigers.

Milton, Ga.—With a huge need for running backs in the 2013 class, the Auburn Tigers added one piece of the puzzle over the weekend when powerful Peyton Barber flipped his commitment from Ole Miss to Gus Malzahn's club following a trip to the Plains.

It wasn't an easy decision for the three-star Barber as he had been committed to the Rebels since the summer. With teammate Carl Lawson's help in getting him to take the trip and Malzahn's exciting offense needing much more help at the position, he says when he got on campus he knew right away it was the place for him.

"Pretty much it was a last minute decision for me," Barber tells Inside The Auburn Tigers of his visit. "Me and my family had things planned out and we decided to head up there. The deciding factor was that I felt like I was at home pretty much. I was pretty much going to stick with Ole Miss, but I had something just tell me that Auburn was the right place for me."

Hoping to sign a big class of running backs with a shortage on hand currently, Auburn is still hoping to add four-star Johnathan Ford on signing day. Unlike many teams that may rotate two backs for one true running back position, Auburn will be using multiple guys and getting carries in a number of different ways.

The chance to get on the field early was definitely one of the things that Barber says sold him on the idea of playing for the Tigers. Getting to know Malzahn, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, and running back coach Tim Horton even more on his visit showed him all he needed to see from the staff to convince him that Auburn was where he needed to be.

"I definitely got a good vibe from them," Barber says. "They were straightforward with me. They didn't try to shoot the bull with me. They told me everything I needed to hear. They were honest and that was the biggest thing to me. Even though I didn't answer their calls early they still pursued me. That showed me they really wanted me."

While the coaching staff played a big role in things, Lawson could have been the biggest selling point for Auburn with Barber. A longtime commitment to the Tigers, the talented defensive end solidified things while on his visit and it was something that his high school teammate says definitely hit home with him.

"I feel like it definitely had a big impact on me having somebody at the school that I know," Barber says. "Knowing that I won't have to start completely over making friends had a big part in the decision for me."

Now with his decision out of the way and planning to sign alongside Lawson and several Milton teammates at a ceremony on Wednesday, Barber says he can concentrate on his academics and getting ready to head to Auburn in the summer. Dealing with the recruiting process can be a strain on a young man's nerves, but Barber says now that it's done he's ready to get things going.

"I'm definitely excited," Barber says. "The recruiting process has been a big struggle for me and it has been pretty stressful. I'm just excited to get it over with. War Eagle."

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