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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
DT Montravius Adams chooses Auburn

By Radi Nabulsi

VIENNA, Ga. -- For a moment, rural Dooly County High School was the center of the college recruiting world as the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle prospect, Montravius Adams, finally announced on ESPNU where he would be attending college. After taking official visits to Florida, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn over the last five weekends, it seems that getting the last word with Adams was the secret to winning him over.

“I want to thank my family and my coaches for helping me through the process and for making me a better person," he said Wednesday morning during the announcement at his school. “I only have one more thing to say, and that is War Eagle!”

Adams said early in his recruitment that he would like to leave the Peach State to continue his football career. Clemson appeared to be the early front-runner, as the Tigers’ coaching staff was the first to offer the Under Armour All-American. More than 20 programs followed suit, and in the end Auburn and new coach Gus Malzahn prevailed.

“I loved Clemson, but in the end I think Auburn was the right choice for me," Adams said. "My mom loved everything about Auburn. The school, the coaches -- everything.”

In-state power Georgia did everything it could to secure its top remaining target, but former UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner departing for Auburn was a critical blow.

“Coach Garner going over there helped a lot," Adams said of choosing the Tigers. "If he hadn’t have gone there I would not have looked at Auburn. It would have helped Georgia if he had stayed.”

What is the impact of Adams' decision?

What it means for Auburn: New Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson will be able to rebuild the Tigers defense, which struggled mightily last season, on the young but talented shoulders of Adams and the No. 2 overall prospect, defensive end Carl Lawson. Coach Gus Malzahn now has the second- and third-highest-rated players from the Peach State, a feat that predecessor Gene Chizik could not pull off, though rival Alabama did it last year.

What it means for the teams that lost out: Georgia had hoped to change Adams’ mind about playing in his home state -- and came close. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior said last season that he had changed his mind about leaving the state. The bigger criterion for Adams at that point became which school was best-liked by his mother, Debbie Young. Although Young said she enjoyed her time in Athens, that was not enough.

Turning point: During his last trip to Auburn, Adams took more family with him than he had on any of his previous official visits. While there, Adams was reunited with former Georgia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, who took the same position with the Tigers in December. Adams’ familiarity with Garner, who had served as his primary recruiter while at Georgia, as well as his mom and family's approval, propelled the Tigers to the top for Adams after his visit.