Hyattsville, Md.--Rated as the nation’s number one offensive tackle by Scout.com, Dematha High School standout Cyrus Kouandjio appeared to have put the finishing touches on a huge offensive line class for Auburn on Wednesday when he committed to Coach Gene Chizik’s Auburn Tigers on national TV instead of Auburn's rival, Alabama, where his brother is a redshirt freshman.
However, the five-star prospect has not yet sent his letter of intent to Auburn and until that happens he can sign with another college if he chooses.
"I talked to my family and everyone around me and I came to the decision that I'm going to play at Auburn University," Kouandjio said in announcing his decision. "There was a lot of thinking I had to go through to get to this result. My brother just said to go where my heart takes me. My heart just told me to go to Auburn."
A standout this season, he established himself as the most impressive offensive line prospect at the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg by dominating his opposition the entire week.
Also there that week were fellow Auburn offensive line signees Christian Westerman, Reese Dismukes and Thomas O’Reilly, giving the Tigers four of the top offensive linemen in the nation. Throw in four-star Greg Robinson, who played in the Army All-American Game, and you have five high school All-Americans on the offensive line for the Tigers in the 2011 class.
"I think we can leave a mark in Auburn history," Kouandjio said. "One of the major reasons why I went to Auburn was because of all these guys like O'Reilly and Reese and Westerman. They played in the Under Armour game with me. I really connected with them and I'm looking forward to it."
An official visitor the last weekend of January to Auburn, Kouandjio said that he enjoyed his visit to the Plains and having the opportunity to sit down with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes. He notes that the chance to play early is one of the main reasons he chose the Tigers.
"There’s a big opportunity for me there to get some significant playing time in my freshman year," Kouandjio said. "A lot of their line is leaving. It leaves a big opportunity for me.”
The national champion Tigers featured four senior starters, including All-American tackle Lee Ziemba.
Inside the Auburn Tigers BCS Championship Issue