Family Feel A Big Factor Mack In Choosing AU

All-American offensive lineman Eric Mack talks about why he wants to play football for the Auburn Tigers.

St. Matthews, S.C.--There were no hats, no jerseys and not a lot of fanfare on Wednesday as football star Eric Mack sat behind a table at his high school and announced that he will sign with the Auburn Tigers on Feb. 3rd.

The Under Armour All-American offensive lineman from Calhoun County High got straight to the point and explained why he made the decision to switch his commitment from the South Carolina Gamecocks to the Auburn Tigers.

The overriding theme for the big lineman had to do with how he was treated like "family" by his future teammates and coaches on his visits to Auburn and how good he feels about his decision to play for the Tigers.

"It meant a lot to me," Mack says about the way he has been treated on his trips to Auburn. "When I went down there on my visit, they just took me in. I didn't have to be down there for a while for them to take me in as a family member. When I went there it just felt like family.

A visitor last spring to Auburn's Big Cat Weekend, which attracted talented prospects from around the country, Mack notes that the chance to spend an extended amount of time in Auburn in an informal setting was a factor in his decision. "That was very important to me," he says.

He also points out that he developed a comfort level with Coach Gene Chizik and his assistant coaches, but adds that he wanted to chose a college for more than its coaching staff.

"The education is the most thing," he says. "Auburn's staff factored in a little bit. What I am seeing now in the college world is that coaches leave. I tried to base my decision not only on the coaches, but on the school and the players that I am going to be playing with for the next four or five years."

Eric Mack

Commenting on how important it was to get to know players and other Auburn recruits at both the Big Cat Weekend and on his official visit to Auburn in September, Mack says, "It is very important to me. That is what I wanted to do, to go somewhere and get to know the players and feel like I was part of something."

He notes that he continued building his relationship with some of his future teammates in Florida at the Under Armour All-American Game. "It kind of helped me make my decision," he says. "Being with those guys almost the whole week, and getting to know them better, it kind of played a big part for me."

Auburn commitments LaDarius Owens, Cody Parkey, Michael Dyer, Jake Holland and Dakota Mosley played in the Under Armour All-American Game and encouraged Mack to join them at AU.

Mack, who notes that he plans to major in education, says he expects to enroll for classes at Auburn in June or July. He says between now and then his focus will be to spend time in the weight room and make sure he reports to campus in the best shape possible to make a run at a starting job as a true freshman.

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