Uncertainly with the Texas coaching staff bled into Christian Westerman
's commitment to the Longhorns and it soon left one of the nation's highest-rated offensive lineman wavering.
Auburn just happened to be in the Phoenix area for a little something known as the National Championship Game.
One home visit and an invite to campus was enough to swing the Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
6-foot-5, 295-pound tackle from Texas to Auburn.
"At Texas, the problem was like, ‘Who is going to be my offensive line coach?'" Westerman said Friday in announcing the switch. " ‘Who I am going to be coached by? Is it going to be a good coach? Is it going to be somebody who prepares me for college and maybe even the next level?' At Auburn, I saw that they had all that."
All of it was set in motion when Texas offensive line coach Mac McWhorter retired. Mack Brown is still running the program and he recently hired Stacy Searels to coach the line, but the damage was done.
After all, Westerman's daily interaction when teams break down to groups for practice is going to be with the line coach.
"As a player, you spend 90-something percent of your time with your position coach," said Christian Westerman's dad, Christian Sr.
Westerman, the No. 22 overall recruit and the nation's No. 4 offensive lineman, didn't have Auburn on his initial recruiting class, but the success of the Tigers' season, friendships he forged with other Auburn recruits at the Under Armour All-American game and the fact that he quickly hit off with Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes made the decision complete.
"When it's all said and done, I think I made a great decision," said Westerman Jr., whose grandparents live about 30 miles from Auburn's campus. "With all the other schools, there was kind of a lump in the bridge. At Auburn, I didn't find that crack. It definitely helps seeing that there aren't really any cons."