Two of the nation's top junior prospects took unofficial visits to Auburn on Friday from Carver in defensive lineman Gabe Wright and running back Isaiah Crowell. Looking for help on the defensive line with depth still an issue, the 6-4, 285 Wright is a prime target for the Tigers and he liked what he saw on the trip.
"Going there it's always very family-oriented," Wright says. "Coach (Gene) Chizik wasn't in, but just coming in and talking with coach (Trooper) Taylor and coach (Tracy) Rocker is always a good time. Auburn, being so close to home, is not too far but it's also not too close. I can go up there for an unofficial all the time. Me and Isaiah (Crowell) had a real good time."
Making his fourth visit to Auburn in the last few years, including the West Virginia game last season, Wright said he's built a good relationship with Rocker over that time and notes that's something that is definitely working in the Tigers' favor at the moment.
"We got a chance to sit down with no disturbances in his office," Wright said. "We talked about the depth chart and things like that. He gave it to me real. Everything he talked about was exactly accurate, who he was recruiting and who his top guy in Georgia was. He got his top guy in Georgia this year in Jeffrey Whitaker and now he's coming for me.
"It's just about being truthful and feeling that family," he added. "If I had a chance to make an all-star team my defensive line coaches would definitely be between coach (Rodney) Garner at Georgia and coach Rocker at Auburn."
One of the biggest selling points for Auburn right now is a lack of depth on the defensive line and in particular at tackle. With two seniors and a junior coming back as the only experienced players on the roster and just two players behind them, the Tigers are looking to stock up at that position and Wright said Rocker told him as much on Friday.
"They are actually low," Wright said. "I think they have four ready to play. They got a few guys coming in and a couple of redshirts, but besides the walk-ons they are low at defensive tackle. He hasn't told me yet where I would be playing. It's between defensive tackle and defensive end, wherever I fit in. The depth chart looks good. They actually weren't even close to having their scholarships filled last year. I think they were around 60 players. He didn't speak negative on any colleges and that's something some colleges do sometimes. He just gave it to me the real deal. That's what I look for."
Saying Alabama was his leader for much of the last few months, Wright said after the visit he would still consider them on top, but he's still very much open and looking at a number of different schools as he heads into the summer before his senior season.
"I wouldn't do it in order because coming from Auburn I'm going to feel good about it," Wright said. "Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, I like Oklahoma State and I like Maryland. Those are definitely some schools in the mix.
"I would say (Alabama leading) that's still the case," he added. "I had a great time at Auburn. When a recruit leaves a place like that he's going to feel different. It really doesn't even have to be a top five because I'm pretty much open. I'm not going to say a national championship has something to do with it because it doesn't. Team success has nothing to do with it. I feel like when I come in all that is going to be erased anyway."
Making visits with and talking with Crowell about schools, Wright said that it's great for him to have someone else to talk with and spend time with discussing particular programs. Because of that he said at the moment the duo is likely to be heading to the same school next year, although he's not sure when and if that announcement will come.
"Me and Isaiah wouldn't mind doing it in the Under Armour game," Wright said. "During the game or halftime or however it works. If it does come down to signing day I would cut the list down to five or six. There is no point in me keeping colleges guessing.
"I would say it's 90 and above," he added about the chances to two play together in college. "We talk about it a lot. I would say there's a 90 percent chance definitely."