Talented Offensive Lineman Chooses Auburn

Auburn went a long way towards solidifying its offensive line recruiting class on Thursday with a commitment from Alabama's top offensive line prospect. Looking for help at center, this player could come in and challenge for immediate playing time.

Hoover, Ala.--Auburn continues to bolster its offensive line of the future as the Tigers added the top offensive lineman in Alabama on Thursday with the verbal commitment of Ryan Pugh

A four-star player as rated by Scout.com, the 6-3, 275 Pugh can play center or guard on the next level, but projects as the center of the future for the Tigers.

With offers from colleges all across the country, Pugh had his pick of just about anywhere, but in the end he narrowed his choices down to Auburn, LSU and Clemson before choosing Coach Tommy Tuberville's program.

"Auburn just stood out in my mind whenever I got there," Pugh says. "The coaches are great and the facilities are unbelievable. The people down there are just so welcoming. It was the right place to go."

"It was Auburn in the beginning. Then I decided I needed to go look at Clemson and LSU. They stuck out in my mind and I went and visited with them and the coaches. It was all really great, but Auburn is where I grew up. Auburn is what I grew up watching (football) and what I like to watch on Saturdays. It became easy from there."

He also considered programs such as Tennessee, Oregon, Louisville, Georgia Tech and others before deciding on the Tigers.

A two-year starter at Spain Park at center and tackle, Pugh was a teammate of incoming freshman quarterback Neil Caudle. With a change in jobs for his father, coach Toney Pugh, Ryan will suit up this fall for powerhouse Hoover and Coach Rush Propst and could play center, guard or tackle for the Bucs this season.

One of the top performers at the Scout.com Combine in Tuscaloosa, Pugh is a player who is considered to have the potential to continue to improve significantly as a senior and in college. His first three seasons Pugh has split time between playing football and baseball, serving as a first baseman and closer for Spain Park last season.

Commenting on why he preferred Auburn over Alabama, a college he never considered, Pugh says, "Auburn and Alabama are the two schools in the state everyone goes to because they are the two major schools. There are no pro teams here so you are either an Auburn or Alabama fan.

"Alabama has won for the years in the past and now Auburn is coming to the forefront. Auburn is coming the forefront and winning. You are seeing more and more in-state kids go to Auburn. They have got a great program down there and they are winning games. That is what it is all about in college football--winning games. That is where you want to go--to a winning program."

The offensive lineman was a standout in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Junior All-Star Game last December in Troy.

Pugh made his announcement on Thursday morning at Hoover High School, which is the host for a seven-on-seven passing camp. Prior to Pugh joining the team, Hoover High School was expected to be a favorite to win the Class 6A state championship and will now be especially difficult to deal with adding the newcomer's size, strength and experience to the offensive front.

The big lineman was recruited by Auburn defensive ends coach Terry Price. Pugh notes that he has already received welcome from Price, head coach Tommy Tuberville and offensive line coach Hugh Nall. "I have already talked to Coach Price, Coach Tuberville and offensive line coach Hugh Nall. They said thank you and wecome to the family. They said keep working hard to get better and they are ready to see me down there."

He becomes Auburn's eighth public verbal commitment for the Class of 2007 joining fellow offensive linemen Kyle Coulahan and Chaz Ramsey, fullback John Douglas, tight end Bailey Woods and defensive backs Daquan Bembry, Johnny Lee Dixon and Michael Slade.

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