Ready to get the decision over with, West's mom Millie told him he needed to sit down and make a choice. Finally he did just that, picking the Auburn Tigers. He says that when everything was considered Auburn was just the right place for him.
"I made my final choice last night when I was sitting down with my mom talking," West tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "We were going through the highs and lows with Texas Tech, SMU and Auburn. Just feeling comfortable with the coaches and everything I felt like Auburn would be a good fit for me. My sister is in Atlanta and if I went to Texas Tech I wouldn't have relatives anywhere near there. It's 11 hours from Beaumont. Auburn is just nine even though it's two states over.
"Basically I felt good with Coach Price (Terry Price) and my defensive coordinator coach David Gibbs is best friends with coach Chizik (Gene Chizik) their defensive coordinator," West adds. "I have been knowing coach Gibbs since he was a freshman and he taught me everything he knew. After that it just became natural. He told me 'I know they're going to take care of you, but it's up to you.'"
Price is also familiar with the Texas landscape having starred at Texas A&M during the 1980's. West says that his ties to the state as well as those of several other Auburn staff members gives him a feeling of home when he thinks about the Tiger program.
"I like the chaplain they have (Chette Williams)," West says. "I think he's from Houston too (Williams once lived there). Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall) is from Dallas and that's right by me. I'm familiar with where some of the coaches came from and they know what I went through. The guidance from Coach Price (Terry Price) I think will be very helpful as well."
West took his official visit to Auburn for the Georgia game, a game that saw the Tigers throttle the Bulldogs in front of an overflow and loud crowd. While he says it didn't play a big part in his decision, West says that the weekend didn't hurt Auburn's chances any. In the end though he says it's all about winning, both on and off the field.
"We don't have crowds like that," West says. "I have never seen a crowd like that. I was shocked by it. That played into it, but basically it was just the coaching staff and the depth chart and everything else.
"It was good to know that I'm going into a winning program," he adds. "I'll get a chance to play with some good players and hopefully I'll become great one day and excel at that as well as my academics."
Despite some reports of his speed not being very good, West claims that his best 40-yard dash time is 4.87 seconds and that he consistently runs under 5.0 seconds. That would be consistent with his play on the field as well as he was named First –Team Class 4A All-State as a senior after making 98 tackles with 10 sacks. A three-year starter, he was one of the most dominant linemen in the Lonestar State this season.
In addition to his football exploits West also plays basketball, tennis and throws the discus for Ozen. He averages just over three points per game in basketball and is normally used as a reserve off the bench. In tennis he made the third round of the district last season despite being the only player from his high school. Ozen doesn't have a tennis team so he competes as an individual. His best throw in the discus is just over 128 feet.
He becomes Auburn's 15th public verbal commitment joining Jerraud Powers, Zach Kutch, Tray Blackmon, Ryan Stamper, Patrick Trahan, Aairon Savage, Montez Billings, Oscar Gonzalez, Michael Harness, Andrew McCain, Alonzo Horton, Rudy Odum and Rex Sharpe. Junior college receiver Prechae Rodriguez has already signed and is the 15th.