Speaking at a press conference at his high school where he was a football and basketball star, the sophomore at Copiah-Lincoln junior college in Mississippi says, "I decided to stay with my commitment to Auburn. I'm going to leave Copiah-Lincoln in December and head up to the plains in January."
Fairley signed with the Tigers as a high school senior, but didn't qualify academically and enrolled at the junior college. He did not play in games as a freshman, choosing to redshirt so he could have three years of eligibility at Auburn.
Commenting on sitting out last season, the defensive lineman says, "I was a little rusty going into spring, but I got back in the groove of things. I'm going to work out real hard this summer and try to get my footwork down pat."
Fairley says he missed not playing football last fall. "I'm kind of happy about redshirting, but I sat out a year and I wasn't happy about that. I missed it pretty much by sitting on the sideline watching my team play, but it worked out in my favor."
Pictured from left to right are Williamson High assistant football coach Carl Jackson, Williamson High head football coach Bobby Parrish, Nick Fairley, Auburn verbal commitment Raymond Cotton, Auburn verbal commitment Terrence Coleman and Williamson High head basketball coach Kendrick Cleveland.
Fairley says he is looking forward to playing at Auburn with former Mobile area stars such as Antonio Coleman. The Auburn defensive end, who is also from Williamson, attended Fairley's announcement and so did Auburn verbal commitment Raymond Cotton, a quarterback who played at Faith Christian as a junior but is moving to Maryland this summer. Another senior-to-be standout who is verbally committed to Auburn, defensive end Terrence Coleman from Williamson, was on hand for the announcement, too.
Commenting on getting the opportunity to play with guys he knows when he arrives at Auburn, Fairley says, "That's real exciting. We have a lot of Mobile players up there right now like Antonio Coleman, Sen'Derrick Marks and Gabe McKenzie."
Fairley (left) is pictured with Raymond Cotton (center) and Terrence Coleman on Saturday at Williamson High.
Fairley admits he was disappointed when he couldn't attend Auburn in the fall of 2007. "I handled everything pretty well," he says. "When I didn't qualify I was pretty upset, but I got a lot of calls from people in the community telling me to keep my head up and that it wasn't anything but a minor setback so when I got there (junior college) that's how I took it.
"It was just a minor setback and I would be at Auburn in a couple of years," he adds. "When I got there, I hit the books real hard. In fact, I hit the books harder than what I'm doing on the field right now because they know what I can do on the field. I just have got to show it in the classroom. That is how I'm doing it, but when it comes to the season you know I'm going to do my thing on the field also."
Fairley is smiling at his announcement that he makes with his parents Paula and Herbert Rogers by his side.
Fairley will be returning to Copiah-Lincoln next week. "I start summer school on Monday," he notes. "We start summer workouts next Wednesday. I'm going try to get my weight down to 270 during the summer workouts. I'm going to hit the weights hard and run because I weigh 280 right now."