Jacksonville, Fla.--A native of Florida, big 6-7, 345 offensive guard Matthew Tanner was already very familiar with the Auburn Tigers when he began getting interest from OL Coach Herb Hand, but on Tuesday the interest ramped up when Hand and new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey made an in-home visit to the former Bishop Snyder High standout.
On Wednesday things took an even bigger turn when the Tigers offered a scholarship to Tanner, a move that puts them at the top of his list as he prepares to take an official visit to the Plains this weekend.
"My reaction to the offer is that I was really excited," Tanner tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's just a huge honor to have Coach Hand offer me. I'm really just excited to get up there and see everything. Growing up I've heard so much about Auburn and the great tradition. I'm excited to hopefully be a part of it."
Making his first visit to Auburn this coming weekend, Tanner said he's just looking forward to seeing everything about the university and program while getting a feel for the players and coaches as well.
"Honestly they obviously have top-notch facilities," Tanner said. "I just want to meet with the coaches. I've already met the OC and Coach Hand, but I want to meet with Coach (Gus) Malzahn and talk to him. I just really want to get a feel for things this weekend and how I would feel in the environment. That's what I'm looking for."
Being recruited to play guard by the Tigers, Tanner has three years left to play two after playing two seasons at Arizona Western. Physical at the point of attack, he said that Auburn sees him as an inside guy on the next level.
"Coach Hand told me they are really thin at the guard position and they want me at guard," Tanner said. "He just said that if I came in day one and ready to work that I very well could be starting, but it's up to me and how hard I work."
With several other schools still on his list, Tanner said if things go well this weekend then he'll be an Auburn Tiger on signing day.
"Auburn, that's really my leader right now," he said. "I'm not really making a commitment, but you could say after this visit there's a 99 percent chance I'm going to Auburn. Bowling Green has been wanting me, Mississippi State, Georgia State, Louisiana-Monroe, UAB.
"I plan on making a decision Sunday night and by the latest on Monday," Tanner added.