Kennesaw, Ga.--Preparing to make his decision this Friday night at halftime of his school’s spring game, talented linebacker Chandler Wooten has narrowed his choices down Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers. Already with his mind made up, the 6-3, 227-pounder said the process has been a tough one for him with schools from all over the country coming after the North Cobb High standout.
“I already know who it is,” Wooten said. “I have known for about three weeks now. It has been very tough because at the end of the day you could go in a lot of different directions, it’s a lot to sort through. You just have to stand firm with your decision.
“I have a great support system with my family and people from church,” he added. “We’re just praying about it. I’m at peace with my decision and feel like I’m in a good place.”
With the Tigers, Gators and Vols remaining, Wooten breaks down each program and what he likes about them beginning with Gus Malzahn and Auburn. Forming a strong bond with first-year linebacker Coach Travis Williams, Wooten said he likes what the Tigers are all about.
“I have always have a deep affection for Auburn since they came into the picture last summer,” Wooten said. “I have a former teammate there (Tyler Queen) which helps out a great deal. I love Coach T Will and Coach (Tim) Horton and Coach (Kevin) Steele.
“I talk to Coach Malzahn on a regular basis so I have a good relationship with all of the coaches. I just like the way I would fit in there defensively and the way I fit in there off the field as well academically. It’s just a good fit for me.”
Something that could play into things for Wooten is the need for linebackers at Auburn. Expected to sign at least four players at the position in the 2017 class, the Tigers are looking for immediate help but Wooten said in the end that’s not a big deal for him.
“That plays a part in it, but at the same time I feel like I can go anywhere and compete,” Wooten said. “I don’t feel like that would really sway me either way, but at the same time they do need linebackers and I’m aware of that. I feel like I could go in and contribute.”
As for Florida, Wooten said having a respected coach like Randy Shannon over his position with the Gators is one thing that stands out about Jim McElwain’s program in Gainesville.
“They have one of the best coaches in the country with Coach Shannon,” Wooten said. “He’s been where I want to be. He can definitely get me where I want to go and my dream is playing at the next level.
“Being at Florida, they have great facilities being in the Sunshine State and I feel like I would fit in well. It would be a great fit to go in there and play in that type of defense,” he added. “They also put a lot of people in the league. I like the way they would use me.”
Rounding out the trio of schools on Wooten’s final list is Tennessee. Along with Auburn one of his favorites for much of the process, Tennessee has definitely made an impact on the linebacker as well.
“The first time I went to Tennessee I fell in love,” Wooten said. “Just stepping on Tennessee’s campus you felt like home. It was just a great vibe from all of the coaches and being around the players.
“I do like the way they run everything up there,” he added. “I like where they are headed. The only way for them is up and that’s something I would definitely want to be a part of.”
Now with his decision closing in, Wooten said he’s ready to get it behind him so he can focus on his senior season at North Cobb.
“I’m just enjoying the process,” Wooten said. “A lot of colleges have been coming through my school and talking to me. I’m just enjoying the process and living it up while I can because you only do the recruiting process once.”