Cullman, Ala.--A funny thing, at least from an Auburn perspective, happened on the way to Spencer Region's commitment announcement ceremony on Saturday.
Planning to announce that he was verbally committed to his childhood favorite, the University of Alabama, the Cullman High football junior reconsidered his decision several hours before announcing his pick and surprised those in attendance expecting to hear him pledge to the Tide.
The six-foot-six, 350-pound offensive guard decided that Auburn, not Alabama, is the place he wants to attend college and play football.
Commenting on his decision, particularly on his switch from the Tide to the Tigers, Region says, "It was tough, but I had to make the decision not as fan and not as someone who grew up as an Alabama fan.
"What made it easier is that Auburn is family oriented and they feel like family should come first and so do I," Region says. "They have the same morals that I do.
"Auburn's offense is great and the whole coaching staff is great," he adds. "I feel like Auburn is the place that I need to be. My family feels at peace about it. I feel at peace about my decision so War Eagle."
Region says he has a high comfort level with Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, the man he will play for in college.
"Coach Grimes says he feels like I can come in and play early if I work hard," Region says. "He is real excited about getting a chance to coach me and the whole Auburn staff is buzzing right now."
Region is coming off a strong season in his first year at Cullman High School.
"My junior season was great," the offensive lineman says. "I had 105 pancakes and 10 tackles on defense with three sacks, but that doesn't matter. That season is past.
"I am in the weight room now plugging away," he notes. "I am getting bigger, I am getting faster and I am getting stronger so I can produce more for my team next year. We are going to make another playoff run and we are going to win our region again."
Region says he is an honor student at Cullman High and that he plans to major in agriculture in college. "Auburn is whee I need to be to do that," says Region.
Region is Auburn's second verbal commitment for 2011 joining juco defensive back Izauea Lanier.