Hart Thinking Things Over

Columbia, SC OL Leon Hart is in the process of deciding between Ohio State and Auburn. We had a chance to catch up with him tonight and discuss what will go into the decision.

South Carolina is home to Leon Hart, one of the country's top prep offensive linemen who still has yet to commit to any college.

Alabama, home of the Auburn Tigers, is the school Hart visited last weekend.

Ohio, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, is where OSU fans hope that he selects to play his college football.

"I had a great visit (to Auburn), I really enjoyed it," Hart said. "Yes I called that visit a 10."

Hart called his visit to Ohio State on Dec. 5 a 10 also.

"When it comes down to the final decision, it's really going to be hard," he said. "But I'm just going to go with my gut feeling and I know that I'm going to make the right decision."

Some people say he won't leave the South.

"That's not really true. Like I said before, I have no problem going to a certain school because of distance," he said. "I'm going to go wherever I feel comfortable."

He obviously feels the same about the two schools after visiting each place officially.

"The thing I liked the most about the Auburn visit was that I had a chance to get around the players and the atmosphere, and I knew that Auburn would be somewhere that I would like to go to school even if I wasn't playing football," Hart said. "I felt that way about Ohio State too."

What stood out at Auburn?

"The thing that really impressed me is the people down there, there's a lot of good people there," he said. "And like I said before, the family atmosphere between the players and coaches and everybody is just great."

Does Hart have any concerns about the reported possibilities of Auburn being on probation in the future or is that not really an issue?

"I knew about the troubles that happened early in the year with the coaching staff but I had some of those things answered when I went on my visit," he said. "I don't know if you all know or not but they fired the president that went on the plane, talking to boosters about switching coaches. But I had most of that stuff answered and I feel comfortable now about the situation at Auburn."

Does that mean that he's comfortable now that Coach Tuberville will be there for the duration?

"Yeah I do and he had a year added to his five year contract," Hart said.

Are the respective recruiting classes and some of the guys you've played with in the All-American Bowl, have any influence in his decision?

"I know that's a part of it. Like when I was at the All-American Bowl, Ted Ginn and Marcus Freeman were talking to me about a lot about Ohio State," Hart said. "But when it comes down to it, I'm just going to have to make my own individual decision."

It's been so long ago since Hart visited Ohio State, is there any strong feeling there about OSU that remains with him?

"The only thing that I can really say is that Ohio State is still in the race," he said. "I wouldn't just rule out Ohio State because I went on my visit to Auburn."

Does Hart have a school to beat in his own mind at this moment?

"I'm still really undecided between Auburn and Ohio State," he said. "I think it will be a gut feeling."

Will the proximity of his parents in South Carolina have anything at all to do with which school he will select between the two?

"That probably will play a little bit of a part of it," he said. "But like I said, if I feel that a school is comfortable, I'll make my own decision. But that is probably going to play a little bit of a role."

And speaking of South Carolina, they're back in the picture, albeit in a cursory role, more or less.

"I originally cancelled a visit there and Coach Lou Holtz and Coach Skip Holtz came into my house and they convinced me to take a visit," Hart said. "It would have to be something really impressive to make me change my mind about South Carolina."

So he'll visit South Carolina this coming weekend and then decide between Auburn:

"I got everything answered that I wanted to get answered about the football program and the coaches. I got everything answered in the academic field that I wanted to get answered about my major, electrical engineering, that I plan on going into. And I had a chance to hang out with the players and get to know them really well and everything went good."

And Ohio State:

"Basically Ohio State is still in the picture and I wouldn't rule them out."

The weather was 60 degrees in South Carolina and it was snowing in Ohio.

"I don't have a problem with the cold weather," he said.

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