Jacksonville, Fla.--Already a four-star prospect for the 2018 recruiting class, big-time quarterback Joey Gatewood decided to end his recruiting very early when he committed to the Auburn Tigers on Saturday night, choosing Gus Malzahn's program over Florida State and a host of other schools. Saying he has known for quite a while that he wanted to be a Tiger, Gatewood said the timing was just right to make his decision public.
"It's a great team and a great program ran by great coaches," Gatewood said of his reasons for choosing Auburn. "I'm just excited to be a Tiger and I can't wait to get there.
"I have known for a while it was Auburn," he added. "I just talked to the coaches and told them today."
A true dual-threat quarterback that can make plays with his arm as well as his feet, the 6-4, 205 Gatewood is a physical offensive weapon for Bartram Trail High. Because of his skill-set and the things he brings to the table he feels like Auburn is a great fit for what can do with the ball in his hands.
"It's a great offense," Gatewood said. "Everything fits me, honestly it's everything."
Sharing time with a junior quarterback this season Gatewood helped Bartram Trail back to the Class 7A playoffs this season as he completed 57.3 percent of his passes for six touchdowns while adding 871 yards rushing and six more scores on 111 carries.
With still two years left to play Gatewood said he thought he improved a great deal as a sophomore this year. Looking forward to getting even better the next two seasons Gatewood said he's excited about the future with Malzahn and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, two guys he has already built a strong bond with in the recruiting process.
"Coach Lashlee is something," Gatewood said. "He's great. He's just something. With Coach Malzahn it's just the same thing with him. I just love them both."
Gatewood said he plans to return to Auburn again soon to continue that bond, something he built after several trips to the Plains going back to last spring. Getting to see the campus and facilities as well as meet his future teammates, Gatewood said those visits built his love for Auburn and set the stage for his early decision.
"It was very important for me," he said of his previous visits. "I wanted to make sure it was somewhere I wanted to go if I wound up there."