Big Brandon Fulse is no stranger to Auburn having visited several times over the past year to see former teammate Onterio McCalebb but he said seeing the atmosphere surrounding this past weekend was something special and he almost made a decision.
"It went good," Fulse said. "If I were to rate that it would be a 9.5. The reason I wouldn't give it a 10 is because I didn't commit. It went good. They won West and that's awesome. I'm happy for Onterio. My trip went good. The game went good. It's a great atmosphere there, I love it…I thought about (committing). I think about it every day, where should I go and who I would end up with. I thought about it a lot when I was there."
Already familiar with Auburn's campus and atmosphere after taking in several unofficial visits, including earlier this year for the Clemson game, Fulse said what he saw on Saturday was better.
"The Clemson game was awesome too," Fulse said. "This one was for something, the championship. The crowd was in it from the kickoff until they kneeled the ball down. I would give this one the better game."
Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Fulse is the number 12 tight end in the country and has had a huge senior year with 25 catches for 338 yards and six touchdowns in just nine games. He also has six sacks on defense but it's on offense where he makes his biggest contribution. Because of that it didn't hurt Auburn's chances to see Philip Lutzenkirchen have a big game on Saturday.
"I looked out there and saw number 43," Fulse said. "He plays tight end, the position I would play if I go there. He caught two touchdowns. They used him a lot. That's just a big advantage to them.
"I just imagined myself catching the touchdowns and celebrating with Onterio," he added. "I just pictured myself out there."
One of the biggest things players are looking for on an official visit is having the opportunity to spend time with the coaching staff and get a better feel for them on and off the field. Fulse said he enjoyed that part of his experience immensely and especially his time with Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.
"I spent more time just getting to know them," Fulse said. "That's a big factor in recruiting to me. You have to be there for the next four or five years. That's a big factor in getting to know them, plus the players. They could be your teammates.
"It helps," Fulse said. "It helps me with the offense. It helps around the city. I know somebody there. It's just a big help.
"Every time I get to sit down and talk with him the conversations get greater and greater," he said of Malzahn. "I learn more about him and he learns more about me. He tells me more about the offense and how they would use me. It's basically just getting that relationship with him."
Fulse said at the moment he's looking at Miami, Florida State, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Alabama in addition to Auburn with the Tigers strongly in the running. "Auburn would be in my top group," he said. "Also Tennessee, Florida State and Miami. Those are probably my top schools. I look at everybody equal. I would leave the state. It doesn't matter to me as long as I have a great career and whichever is best for me."
With still plenty of time left before he makes his decision, Fulse said that Auburn is definitely a school that will be in it for him because of the relationships he's built and just his comfort level with the Tigers.
"I have a great bond with them, coach Malzahn and coach (Jay) Boulware and coach (Gene) Chizik," Fulse said. "I have Onterio there who can show me around and take me under his wing. Other than that I just feel so comfortable around the coaches. I can be laid back with them. I just feel comfortable around there."
Fulse said he plans to visit Texas Tech on Dec. 10 with trips to Tennessee and possibly Oregon as well before he makes his decision.