Pugh Has Multiple Reasons For Picking Tigers

Auburn's eighth public verbal commitment for the 2007 football signee class, Hoover offensive lineman Ryan Pugh, comments on the other programs he considered and why he plans to play his college football for the Tigers.

Hoover, Ala.--Just because Ryan Pugh grew up a fan of the Auburn football Tigers didn't mean the heavily recruited prospect was going to commit to the Tigers without considering other options. However, the lineman's feelings for the program certainly helped Tommy Tuberville's staff convince Pugh to pick AU as his college choice.

On Thursday at Hoover High School, where he transferred earlier this year from Spain Park High, Pugh talked to Inside the Auburn Tigers about his decision to head to the plains.

"I grew up always watching Auburn," he says. "As soon as they offered, I thought, ‘Hey, this is where I want to go.' But you can't make a quick decision on something like that. You need to go out and visit.

"That is what I did," Pugh notes. "I went and visited LSU, Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson. All of those visits went real well, but Auburn had something they couldn't offer. It was just the winning they have been doing over the past couple of years. The coaches and the facilities were unbelievable.

"The family ties do come into play with it because you want to see your family watch you play college football," he adds. "That always means something. That played a big part in the decision."

Pugh puts on the Auburn hat to announce his commitment to the Tigers.

Although Pugh has been a standout at all three offensive line positions, he is expected to line up at center for Coach Hugh Nall in the fall of 2007.

Pugh says the opportunity at that position at Auburn is something he seriously considered. "That was the deciding factor, really, the depth-chart situation," he notes. "Coach Nall is a great coach. I highly respect him. It was easy when he told me the center situation and that I would have a chance to compete as a true freshman.

"Coach Nall told me wasn't going to play me early unless I am ready. If I am ready, he will play me. If not, that is his decision. He has been doing it a lot longer than I have. I trust his decision and he is a great coach. I just hope I have a chance to play early."

Ryan Pugh is shown at the AHSAA junior all-star game.

With recruiting finished, Pugh can concentrate on the 2006 season at Hoover High, the defending 6A state champions.

"A state championship your senior is something most kids can only dream about, but it is a reality here," he says. "They win them year in and year out. Hopefully, we can get five in a row and maybe even win a national championship. That would be great--a perfect way to head to Auburn."

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