Hernando, Miss.--In the end it was the coaching staff that made the difference for big defender Andre Wadley. With offers on the table from finalists Tennessee and Mississippi State as well as schools such as Ole Miss and Alabama, Wadley says that for him it was Auburn's coaching staff that swung things in favor of the Tigers.
"I really like the coaching staff," the 6-3, 265 Wadley tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Everybody is pretty much straightforward. They let you know what is up. That's what I appreciate and what I felt comfortable with Auburn about."
The coaching staff wasn't the only draw for Wadley to Auburn though. A visitor for Auburn's game against Alabama in the annual Iron Bowl, Wadley says that day and the events that unfolded had a big part in his decision to be a Tiger.
"Auburn really was the first team I really felt comfortable with and that started on my first visit," Wadley says. "I wasn't going to forget about the experience and how I felt loved that day. At the Tiger Walk people were shouting my name. I didn't even know who they were. "
While he had his choice of several top programs, Wadley says in the end he just felt like Auburn was the best place for him to become a better football player as well as a better man. Still undecided on his choice until last week, Wadley notes that when he first made his decision known it was a little unexpected to not one, but two coaches.
"I knew it was Auburn on the 29th," Wadley says. "I told coach (his high school coach) that I would make a decision on the next day. I had not even told Coach (Hugh) Nall yet and I was telling my coach when the phone rang and it was Coach Nall. He gave me the phone and I asked him if they were going to reserve my number over there. Coach Nall said yes. At the same time I was telling Coach Nall I was committed I was telling my coach."
Auburn's change on the coaching staff also has Wadley pumped up about the future of the program. With new defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads on the staff from Pittsburgh, Wadley says if his first meeting is any indication he's going to like playing for him in the future.
"He came over to the school and I think they are coming tomorrow," Wadley says. "He seems like he's a pretty good defensive coordinator. He seems like one of those guys that is hard on you, but at the same time he can be cool with you. Plus he came from a good defense."
Wearing the same number 54 as Quentin Groves, also a highly recruited defensive prospect from the State of Mississippi when he chose Auburn, Wadley says he's hoping to have similar results in his career on the Plains. He says no matter what he knows he'll have the support of the Auburn fans behind him.
"Yea, it's a good omen for me," Wadley says on wearing number 54. "I'm a defensive guy and I know Auburn loves defensive guys. I'm coming in so I hope they show me some love because I'm an out of state guy.
"That's what I like about Auburn," he adds. "They give out of state guys a chance too. That's how I really want the fans to feel about me. I played in the Alabama-Mississippi Game and we whipped Alabama, but there is nothing wrong with Mississippi guys."
Wadley's commitment continues a big day for the Auburn Tigers as earlier in the day the Tigers added talented defender Jomarcus Savage from J.O. Johnson High in Huntsville as a commitment. Here is a full list of Auburn's current commitments. Auburn Commitment List