Blue-chip quarterback prospect and Auburn commitment Joey Gatewood still strong to Auburn although other visits could take place

MATTHEWS, N.C. -- Longtime Auburn verbal commitment Joey Gatewood is still solid to the Tigers but a trio of additional programs remain hot on his trail.

More than 18 months ago, Joey Gatewood jumped on board with Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers and he remains the class of 2018 headliner for the program.

"What keeps me so solid and committed is the love, they're checking up on me everyday and it's like family there," he said. "I committed in December of my sophomore year and I'm still solid to them, even after changes. 

"I'm still solid to them right now, no worries right now."

The biggest change on Auburn's coaching staff came when Malzahn hired Chip Lindsey as offensive coordinator earlier this year. Gatewood has spent time with him a couple times and will be back on The Plains in the near future.

"I've been up there two times, I'm about to go back up there next month," he said. "He's a cool dude, a nice, genuine guy and I think he has a good scheme for when I come in. He said there's more throwing in it, which is always better for me. And watching the spring game, I can definitely see myself in that offense. 

"The first thing I look at with a school is its offense, what they run, what they plan to run."

Auburn isn't alone in its consistent relationship with the Scout100 prospect, who competed at The Opening Charlotte over the weekend (video above). But he hasn't been to another campus in quite some time. 

"GeorgiaOle Miss very hard, Oregon, too," Gatewood said of the programs courting him. "I may visit in the summer, there's a chance. One school I do want to visit is Ole Miss, right now they are coming the hardest. They say I'm one of the three best quarterbacks they want. They want me to come up there, spend the day with them, learn the offense..."

Alabama visited the dual-threat talent Thursday morning and it may get on him campus sometime soon, too. 

"Coach (Brent) Key visited and he reaffirmed the offer to me again," he said. "It's a good offer, visit might be coming soon."

Gatewood worked well in Charlotte, earning top performer honors, as he prepares for his final season at Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail High School. He is one of two arms, along with three-star prospect Riley Smith, who see significant playing time. Neither rising senior has bailed on the program and each has well over a dozen verbal scholarship offers to choose from in the class of 2018 anyway. 

When Smith works at the position, Gatewood has contributed to Bartam Trail elsewhere. On Sunday he said the situation there is something he enjoys, especially if it helps the uncommitted Smith gain more recruiting exposure.

It doesn't hurt his game, either.

"Competition, I believe, is what gets you better every day," he said. "It's what I do." 

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