Andy Bauer isn't exactly tiptoeing through his recruitment. The 2014 offensive tackle claims 33 offers and has already been verbally committed (to Missouri) once. He has a grasp on what he's looking for in a school. He is by no means overwhelmed.
So more than a full year before he'll sign a national letter of intent, he has no problem naming a list of favorites. It's an early draft, sure. It's subject to change, and more schools will almost certainly get involved as things progress. But, as things as of now …
"The schools I'm really, really interested in are Alabama, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Arkansas," Bauer said. "Arkansas is kinda new because Coach [Brett] Bielema recruited me at Wisconsin and [Razorbacks line coach] coach [Sam] Pittman recruited me for Tennessee."
True to form, Bauer, a four-star prospect, is wasting no time making his rounds. He will take an unofficial visit to Ole Miss this weekend before doing the same at Florida on Jan. 18. The itinerary is aggressive. Then, so is Bauer. The chances that he remains uncommitted until signing day 2014 are slim. A drawn-out process was never the plan.
But today Bauer is focused on the near future and the two visits it holds. First on the docket: Oxford.
"I've been talking to Coach Matt Luke," Bauer said. "He's the one that recruits me," Ole Miss had a great season and they're recruiting well. Looks like they are going to end up with two five-star recruits this year. It's kind of a hot program, I would say. There is some buzz around them and the recruiting. It's only a six-hour drive, which isn't that bad. Plus, the SEC."
His feelings are more developed when it comes to the Gators. Bauer already has a strong relationship with the Florida staff and has listed Florida as a school of interest since the start. That take shows no signs of changing.
"It's definitely one of my top schools," Bauer said. "I really like the tradition. I like the coaching staff. I like Coach [Will] Muschamp. I like the offense and that they run the ball a lot. It's somewhere I see myself having a lot of success both on the field and in the classroom. There's so much I like about it."
Bauer, as he seems to do at every turn, restated the fact that his broken commitment from Missouri has not eliminated the Tigers as a school of interest.
As a junior, the 6-foot-6, 304-pound Bauer helped lead St, Louis (Mo.) DeSmet High School to a 9-4 overall record.