That is all Auburn High standout Dee Finley needed to hear as the Tigers immediately jumped to the head of the line for the standout safety.
"I grew up rooting for them," Finley tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's a dream come true really. I can't even describe it really. It's just one of those feelings. I'm just going to take my time before making a decision. Auburn is still number one overall, but I'm going to take my time."
Finley is a physical prospect who hits like a linebacker and runs like a cornerback.
A 6-3, 198 speedster who can cover from sideline to sideline as well as return kicks and punts, Finley has already been offered by Ole Miss and Louisville and his list will continue to grow as more and more teams get junior video of him. It may not matter in the end though as Finley grew up just down the street from Jordan-Hare Stadium and says it's an honor just to get an offer from Auburn.
"It's still hard to believe," Finley says. "It's just a dream come true. I have watched them so many times on TV that I just can't picture myself playing for them. They're my favorite team. I'm just speechless."
A dominating force at safety for the Tigers, Finley used his 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash to play center field to perfection as he finished his junior year with 55 solo tackles, eight interceptions and 15 passes broken up. He also added a punt return for a score. One only has to watch Finley in action to see what his talents are as a player and Finley backs that up when assessing his own game.
"I think I break on the ball well," Finley says. "That's my strong suit. I break on the ball and tackle. I think I hit pretty hard."
Planning to camp at Auburn as well as a few other schools, Finley says that he has plenty to work on before his senior season at Auburn High. While he is already a physically imposing player Finley says one of his main goals is to get bigger before next fall.
"I just want to improve my speed and my size and my technique really," Finley says. "I need to work on coming out of my breaks. I have to get better at that."
Watching him play you get the distinct impression that Finley is just one of those players that has a natural feel for playing the safety position. That is something that could help him play early at the school of his choosing. If that school is Auburn then Finley would be coached in the secondary by defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Finley says he got a chance to meet Muschamp last season and was impressed by the coach.
"He's a great coach and is real down to earth and cool," Finley says. "I liked him the first time I met him. I know I'm going to like it there."
In addition to Muschamp, Finley also had nothing but glowing remarks about Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville. Living in Auburn Finley gets plenty of chances to read about and hear Tuberville in action and he says he likes everything about Auburn's Tuberville.
"Coach Tuberville is just a great coach," Finley says. "He knows what he's doing and does it so well that he's just laid back. I like how his relationships are with the players. I like how he handles the players."
With three current offers Finley says the first thoughts may be to relax ,but that's the opposite of what he's going to do. Running track this spring in addition to hitting the weight room, Finley says the early offers have only inspired him to work harder in the coming months.
"It's going to make me work harder," Finley says. "It's going to make me prove myself even more. I want to make the schools want me more."