"I was really leaning towards Cal but in the end it was Auburn. I loved Cal from the beginning. They were the first school to offer me a scholarship. Their university was above and beyond the other universities. It was just going to be a situation where I would have to do more [course] work to get into their school. I really didn't want to wait."
And that was the deciding factor. "Pretty much," Gayden said why Auburn had the advantage in the end.
Nevertheless, he says the Tiger coaches recruited him the hardest. As well, the tradition and rabid SEC fans didn't hurt either.
"They bring a lot to the table, great coaching staff, real good people, Auburn's fans are crazy," said Gayden. "The SEC is the best conference in the country. It's just a great opportunity. The [coaches] were very excited. They really did their part in recruiting me. They came after me the hardest."
As Cal did, the Tigers present an early opportunity for playing time, another huge factor in his recruitment.
"Well I'm going to go in there and compete for the left tackle spot," said Gayden. "The coaches tell me I'm going to compete at left tackle but the right tackle spot is wide open too."
Gayden finishes school this week. However, he must complete an online class before he can enroll in January. "I may be there the first day of school or a couple days after," said Gayden.
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