When it comes to this whole recruiting thing, Andy Bauer is already a seasoned veteran. At this point, the bit is routine.
College coaches call and pleasantries are exchanged. Weeks passes. Some more film is watched. There's more small talk to follow. And eventually an offer shows up at his door. The 304-pound offensive tackle has done the dance 35 times to this point. To him, it's become a science. The invitation he received from Georgia on Thursday, however, strayed a bit from the normal script.
"Georgia has been sending me mail for probably about two years now, but I never really talked to them," Bauer said. "Then, just last week, it started to pick up. The whole coaching staff watched my film today. They all agreed, so they offered me. It's coach (Will) Friend recruiting me. He made the offer.
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"I'm really excited about this one. They have a really good program and a really good offensive line. I know that coach Friend is a really good coach. I'm for sure going to visit there."
A visit to UGA is in the cards. Bauer knows that much already. No date has been set, but he says nailing down a weekend won't be too difficult. For now, he's focused on this weekend's trip to Ole Miss, which he says is now among the leaders to secure his commitment.
His frontrunners are always evolving, but as of now …
"Ole Miss is definitely one of my top schools," Bauer said. "I'm going back there this weekend. I'm definitely going to visit Georgia, too. They're definitely in there. Alabama, LSU, Missouri … all the schools that I usually talk about … Florida. All of them are really high up on the list."
Bauer has tentative plans to return to Alabama for a second look in the near future. And when he does so, he'll arrive with a purpose. Things have changed since the last time he was in Tuscaloosa, and he'd like to scope out the differences.
His impending decision is a big one, and he's treating it as such.
"I'm going to work in another trip to Alabama after they hire a new offensive lien coach," Bauer said. "Right now, coach Bobby Williams recruits me until they get a new coach there."
Bauer, a four-star prospect, is ranked as the No. 92 overall player in America. He plays his highs school football at St. Louis' DeSmet High School, which he helped lead to a 9-4 overall record last season.