Getting an offer from Southern Miss early in the process, Coates committed to the Golden Eagles. However he showed up at Auburn's Senior Mini-Camp on Saturday looking to impress the Auburn coaching staff. He did that and more as the 6-2, 177 receiver ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, had a vertical leap of 37 inches, and made several highlight reel catches.
The result was an offer following the camp by Auburn which Coates quickly accepted to fulfill a lifelong dream for the 2A star.
"It was good," Coates said. "It's just like family there. I love it. It's awesome. I got an offer and committed to them. I feel real good. I love it. I'm happy about it. I'm going to celebrate.
"They wanted me to come and prove myself," he added. "They had been talking to me for a couple of months about coming to a camp. I finally went up there and got big news on the first day."
Saying he has no doubt about his decision after making the switch from Southern Miss to Auburn, Coates said he's looking forward to playing football with his former teammate and current Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley.
"He's just told me once I got up to Auburn I would love it," Coates said. "He's just told me how good it is and how family oriented it is. I finally got up there and I love it. It only took one time."
Despite being slow to get back into the swing of things following a leg injury, Coates still managed to catch 50 passes for 875 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. He said while his numbers and ability allow him to be a playmaker, for him it's all about the team.
"I always play for the team," Coates said. "I'm not a selfish person. I love to help out any way I can. I love it. I love football."
Playing in a wide open attack at Leroy designed to get the ball in the hands of the most dangerous players, Coates said he's looking forward to doing the same types of things when he gets to Auburn and he's all Tiger now.
"I'm used to running the spread," Coates said. "We've been running the spread since the 9th grade. I have been starting since the 10th grade. I watch this offense all the time. I grew up around Auburn-Alabama. I love it.
"It means a lot to me. I wish my dad was here to see this. It would mean so much to him. I'm through now. It's Auburn."
Coates becomes Auburn's ninth commitment for the 2011 class joining quarterback Kiehl Frazier, center Reese Dismukes and guard Thomas O'Reilly on offense as well as defensive linemen Angelo Blackson and Jabrian Niles, linebacker Chris Landrum, and defensive backs Izuaea Lanier and Anthony Swain.