Tight End Looking Forward to Early AU Start

Class of 2014 prospect Chris Laye discusses his official visit and early arrival at Auburn.

Suwanee, Ga.--Chris Laye's official visit to Auburn, where he has been committed since April, served multiple purposes this weekend.

In addition to doing the normal things football prospects do on official visits like spend time with the coaches and players, tour facilities and eat lots of food, the tight end from Lambert High School also spent time with his transition to becoming an Auburn student.

Scheduled to take his final high school class on Tuesday, he will graduate early and begin taking college classes at Auburn in January.

If everything works out like he hopes, the six-foot-five, 242-pound tight end will be able to join his new teammates for practice on December 26th when the Tigers resume workouts prior to flying to California for their Jan. 6th date in the BCS National Championship Game vs. Florida State. Neither Laye nor the other mid-term arrivals will be able to practice with the team off campus.

"Right now we are trying to figure out the NCAA rules about moving in, but if that gets cleared I will be in Auburn on the 26th and I will get to practice for about four days," Laye said. "I hope I will be able to get my equipment, move in and get started as early as I can.

"I think the most important thing will be to get the nervousness out and stuff like that...just go out and compete and show them what I can do," Laye noted.

He said that he is looking forward to the college experience even though that means skipping the final half of his senior year in high school.

"It could have been a lot of fun and I am definitely going to miss having my friends around, but I am going to a good place and I know Auburn is going to take care of me," Laye said. "I am definitely looking forward to getting there and starting a new chapter."

Laye said the weekend in Auburn re-confirmed his opinion that being a member of Coach Gus Malzahn's football team is what he wants to do.

"I am really looking forward to getting started," he said. "It is a great team to be around. All of the guys are really nice. They really know how to make you feel at home when you come to visit.

"I am really looking forward to getting there and being a part of that,"?he added. "They have accepted me already and I have gotten to know a lot of them. They have done a great job of recruiting as well."

Commenting on what he did after arriving on campus on Friday, Laye said, "We got to do a lot of things because they kept us busy. I think the most exciting thing was I had a meeting with my academic adviser and some of the teachers on campus for the business school and they were excited about going to the national championship. That is something I am going to take away from the visit--how excited everybody is. How we are one big family.

"They definitely kept us feed," he pointed out. "We got to go around to meetings for academics. I got fitted up for my equipment and I got some of my medical stuff taken care of. I really enjoyed my visit."

On Friday evening Laye and the other prospects attended the team's banquet to honor the seniors. "It was really exciting to see all of the awards that everybody is going to get, the highlight films and how everybody has grown so much in a year," Laye said. "Coach Malzahn did a great job presenting the awards and talking about everybody so it was definitely a unique experience to be there for that."

Laye pointed out that he watched video for about two hours with his future coaches to get a feel for what they will be looking for him to do beginning with the 2014 season. "I will be playing hand-on-the-ground tight end and a little bit of H-back and then split out some," he said. "I will just find out where my abilities are and where I fit best. I will definitely be a hand-on-the-ground tight end.

"I am really working hard and I have already talked to Coach Russell (strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell) about putting a little weight on when I get here and hopefully start playing early or least start learning the plays and do the best I can do," said Laye, who noted that his goal is to get into the 250-pound range for his freshman season and "cut some fat and add some muscle."

Laye, who is planning to sign scholarship papers on Wednesday, was assigned junior tight end C.J. Uzomah as his player host for the official visit.

Our personalities really match up," he said. "I had roomed with him before for the FAU game and the Georgia games so we already knew each other coming in. I think it is really important for me to learn from him, especially coming back next year when he will be a senior. I think he is going to be a good mentor for me. I enjoyed spending time with him and he is a very down-to-earth guy."

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