Auburn Football

Auburn Steals 2011 Commitment From Alabama in Offensive Lineman Spencer Region

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1: Coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers leaves the field with a win against the Northwestern Wildcats in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2010 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Robert BrooksCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2010

Two days after showing the recruiting world that Auburn was for real , Gene Chizik was back at it, picking up his second commitment for 2011.

A day after adding former Auburn signee Izauea Lanier, who spent the season at East Mississippi Community College, the Tigers added Spencer Region of Cullman, Ala., an offensive lineman with an interesting story to tell.

Region is no doubt a big-time player, and looks to be one of the best in the state for 2011.

In October, Region told Scout.com that “I have always hoped one day I will get to wear the crimson and white. It will hurt if I don't get to do that. Alabama is my overall favorite. I feel at home there. I love it down there. I have been going down there for so many years that I just feel comfortable."

He recently picked up the offer from the Crimson Tide he had been looking for following Junior Day in Tuscaloosa.

Sounds to me like someone is destined to be an Alabama signee, right?

Wrong. Ninety minutes before Region was set to pick between Alabama, Auburn, and FSU on Friday, he switched his private commitment from the Crimson Tide to the Auburn Tigers.

What went wrong? While there may be no definite answer, something had to have swayed Region’s decision.

Message boards have been array for the last two days, with Auburn fans ecstatic over the decision, and Alabama fans, well, they are none too happy.

This is the second Alabama commitment that Gene Chizik has been able to steal from Alabama since his arrival, and while the first one (DE Craig Sanders, 2010) was a surprise, with the back-story on Region, this one is a downright shocker.

Everyone college program says their fan base is a “family,” but when Gene Chizik and his staff sell that to a recruit, they absolutely mean it. And once again, it worked in his favor.

The 6-foot-6, 330-pound offensive lineman who was virtually all but headed to Tuscaloosa had this to say to the Birmingham News: "Due to changes, I am decommitting from Alabama and I am committing to Auburn. I will be an Auburn Tiger, where I feel they really care about me."

My, how quickly things have changed. Is this a sign of things to come after Auburn landed a class that depending on where you look, was better than Alabama’s in 2010?

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but this is a huge start for Auburn and their 2011 class.

Region added, "I feel like Auburn is the place that I need to be. My family feels at peace about it. I feel at peace about my decision."

While Signing Day 2011 is 362 days away, Region sounds like he’s firm to Auburn. We can’t forget that nothing is final until NSD, and with his Bama past, Saban and Co. are sure to be in this massive offensive lineman’s ear for the next year trying to swing him back to the Tide.

Regardless, this commitment speaks volumes about how Auburn plans to stay at the top of the recruiting ranks.

They proved they can bring in players from across the nation, and they’ll look to take some of the state’s best recruits as well, as Alabama has been able to do since Saban’s arrival.

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