Auburn takes top recruit from Texas
The nation’s top offensive guard prospect, Christian Westerman, made his decision early, committing to Texas last April. A subpar season and coaching changes in Austin led to widespread rumors that the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Westerman had de-committed from the Longhorns.
This was not quite the case, he did however entertain in-home visits, scheduled official visits to Auburn and USC (which he cancelled later) and he felt like he deserved the right to look around while a new staff at Texas was being built.
The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton product eventually narrowed his choices down to Texas and Auburn and announced today at a press conference at Hamilton High that on Signing Day, he will ink with the Auburn Tigers.
"I am excited to become an Auburn Tiger and become part of the Auburn family," Westerman said. The people, the following and fans are amazing and in the end it is where my heart is. I look forward to playing in one of the best and most tradition rich conferences in the nation, the SEC, where the football passion and following is second to none.
“I have spent countless hours and months considering all of the things that matter to me for my college future and football future and Auburn just came out on top in the end. It was about the Auburn coaches, especially Coach Chizick and my offensive line coach, Jeff Grimes, the Auburn family and the fact that there was a relationship that has now been solidified for many months now. In the end it was about people, trust, love and family.
"I am excited and blessed to move forward with my commitment to this great program and the Auburn family. In the end I am following my faith, my heart and my family… War Eagle!"
Many might ask, what exactly happened at Texas to make Christian flip?
"Even after a down year, where the Horns went 5-7, I still had a relationship and trusted the coaches and the direction of the program," Westerman said. "After the season, my position coach left the program and then about eight other coaches left. It just all changed. There was no more relationship to hang my hat on and my position coach is where I will spend about 90 percent of my time. It was just too little too late. Auburn had it all and I was very close to my position coach there over the last eight to ten months."
Simply put, the decision didn’t come easy.
"The commitment to Texas was an honor and I have always remained grateful to Coach Brown and the entire staff for the opportunity to consider Texas," Westerman added. "They remain a class act and I will always love and respect the program, especially Coach Brown. I hope that the Texas program continues to build on their success and has a great future."
With literally over fifty scholarship offers, why Auburn?
"The coaches, family environment, SEC conference, comfort level and chance to build a trust relationship over many months now," Westerman said. "I loved the official visit and what they are about. It just felt right all the way around.
"I have also forged some very strong relationships with other players that I met and spent time with at the Under Armor All American Game. Guys like Reese Dismukes, Thomas O’Reilly and Keihl Frazier. We are now all in and now part of War Eagle Nation. We have big plans to get Auburn back to the national championship during our career there."
Many speculated that with Auburn winning a national title in Westerman’s backyard, that he jumped on the bandwagon. Not the case according to Westerman.
"The national championship was just icing on the cake," Westerman said. "I have never been a fair weathered fan and I have been building a relationship with Auburn for about eight months now. Winning the national championship this year certainly is exciting for the program but I did not play on that team. It is my desire to get back there in my time there and that will be one of my goals, along with winning the SEC and going to a bowl game each and every year. I am used to winning coming from Hamilton, having won the last three state titles. It is all I know; winning championships."
Having some family in the area also seemed to play a role in his decision to sign with Auburn.
"My mom’s side of the family is from the Auburn area," Westerman said. "I have always liked the team and my grandparents live about 30 miles from the school. I have spent a lot of time with my family there and many summers on Lake Martin. It is comfortable and familiar. I also have other family in Alabama on my Mom’s side and also Georgia, Florida and all across SEC country."
Westerman wanted to make one last comment.
"As I am announcing my college decision I want all of you to know that me and my family have spent a lot of time praying about my decision and discussing my future as a family. I am grateful to God, my family, my Hamilton coaches, my Husky teammates and players who took us to the top the last three years. Also, thank you to my teachers and administration here at Hamilton for all of the support and success we have achieved together."