Auburn has been a strong contender since the spring to land the signature of Carver four-star defensive tackle Gabriel Wright. After a visit to Auburn Saturday, Wright, from Columbus, Ga., said the Tigers are actually the team to beat.
"Auburn is definitely my leader," said Wright. "They are at the top."
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Wright, ranked the No. 7 overall recruit in Georgia and No. 8 defensive tackle in the country, has scholarship offers from Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson, Alabama, Florida State, Nebraska, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Cal and Mississippi State, to name a few.
Wright has visited several of the schools including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson and Florida State. His latest visit to Auburn Saturday put the SEC Tigers on top.
"I was happy when I got there. The coaches and everybody came out and greeted me," said Wright. "Everything went really good. I sat in the meetings. I got to interact with Coach (Gene) Chizik and (defensive line) Coach (Tracy) Rocker some more. It went well."
Following the meetings, Wright watched from the sidelines as Auburn practiced for more than two hours under the lights.
"I liked watching practice," he said. "It gave me a chance to see Coach 'Rock' coach again, and it showed me how low they are in depth along the defensive line."
Wright said he plans to return to Auburn again in the fall for at least two games, maybe three.
"I'll definitely be back for some games. I'll be back for the Clemson (Sept. 18) and Georgia (Nov. 13) games, and maybe even the LSU (Oct. 23) game," he said. "None of them would be official visits. I'd just come up for the game."
Wright doesn't plan to make a decision in the near future. He still has unofficial and official visits he'd like to take. He wants to see if any of the schools can top Auburn. As of Saturday, none had.
"It's just something about Auburn," said Wright. "There's a special bond ... I feel like I'm at home there. I love the campus, the coaches. I love the idea of playing for Coach 'Rock'.
"I like a lot about Auburn. That's why they're my leader."
As a junior, Wright recorded 55 tackles, 27 solos, eight tackles-for-loss, seven sacks and nine pass break-ups. He is a member of the Rivals100, ranked the No. 92 overall recruit in the country.