Big Lineman Chooses Tigers

Big offensive lineman Thomas O'Reilly made his announcement on Tuesday night as he chose Auburn over a variety of schools.

Marietta, Ga.--Auburn added another piece to what is quickly becoming an outstanding offensive line class for 2011 as Pope standout Thomas O'Reilly committed to the Tigers over Florida State, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and nearly a dozen other schools with Georgia Tech Auburn's biggest competitor.

"It was just the family atmosphere for me," O'Reilly tells Inside The Auburn Tigers about his decision to choose Auburn. "I just felt really welcome there. It's just a big family atmosphere. One of the guys I really got close to is coach Jeff Grimes. He's just one of those guys you can talk to about anything.

"I checked out schools and I knew that I wanted to make my decision early," he adds on why he chose Auburn now. "Actually after I went down there for their junior day and spent the day with Spencer Region and Reese Dismukes and coach (Gene Chizik), we got to hang out all day. I knew right then I wanted to commit."

At 6-4, 315-pounds with good feet and strength, O'Reilly is rated as a three-star prospect early in the process by with a good chance to move into the four-star range by the time the rankings are finalized in February.

Showing a physical nature in the running game and improving technique as a pass protector, O'Reilly joins Region as an Auburn commitment, giving coach Jeff Grimes two massive players already in this class.

A visitor for a spring practice two weeks ago, O'Reilly had the chance to see the Tigers in action on the field as well as getting the opportunity to watch the coaches work. Also talking with them following the practice in a relaxed setting along with his fellow recruits, he said that day was one that really sealed the deal for him to choose Auburn.

"That was huge," O'Reilly says. "I got to see more of Auburn than I've ever seen before. It was just awesome. I got to spend the day with Spencer Region, who is also committed, and Reese Dismukes, who is actually on his way to making a commitment. I hope it's Auburn.

"It's awesome," he adds on his relationship with Region. "I was actually checking out Auburn's commitments and I found a way to get in touch with Spencer and just kept talking to him. I know one of his goals was to graduate early. That's something I want to do too. After seeing that I gave him a call and we started getting to know each other. It's huge."

In addition to O'Reilly and Region, Auburn has commitments from safety Anthony Swain from Gadsden City and cornerback Izauea Lanier from East Mississippi Community College and Gordo.

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