McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) center Dylan Cardwell ended his recruitment on Thursday, picking Auburn over Georgia, Maryland, Miami, Tennessee and Connecticut. The 6-foot-10, versatile big, agreed to break down the reasons behind his decision in an exclusive blog with SI All-American.
What’s up world, it’s Dylan Cardwell, just a hometown kid from Augusta, Georgia, and I am happy to announce that I am officially committed to the Auburn!
I’m very relieved to have this decision done.
It’s a huge burden off of my shoulders and my mom’s shoulders as well. She’s been through all of this with me.
The last year has been a roller coaster for me so to know that I’ll be playing closer to home is exciting for me.
I was ruled ineligible for my senior year and what hurt the most was not being able to play in front of my family before going to college. Now, I’m gonna be closer so they can come see me play, and that weighed into my decision for sure.
I missed playing in front of the fans too!
Honestly, the whole situation taught me a lot; it brought me closer to God and it taught me how to keep my faith strong because sometimes life isn’t fair.
I’m very excited that I’ll be teaming up with my high school and AAU teammate Sharife Cooper! He recruited me hard, just saying things like, “I know your game and you know my game so why wouldn’t you come to a team where you have built-in chemistry.”
I won’t say that him being there impacted my decision, but I will say that I’m glad it worked out that we’re at the same school which was the right fit for both of us. I know that we’ll have an advantage from a chemistry perspective because we already had it. Me sitting back and watching him for a year let me learn his game even more.
When I told Coach (Bruce) Pearl that I was coming he was excited!
The first thing he did was yell, “War Eagle!”
He told me being there was a lifetime commitment. That’s exactly what I wanted; I didn’t want a four-year school I wanted a school that was gonna be my family for the rest of my life.
I can’t say enough about the fan base there.
My uncle is the defensive line coach there at Auburn so I’ve been going there for a long time. I was there at both Iron Bowls where they beat Alabama.
The fans make you feel at home no matter what sport you play. You’re family there.
I remember Auburn scored a touchdown and someone ran five rows up just to hi-five another fan!
I remember thinking after that, “I want to come here!”
They are the best fans in the country!
The other thing that solidified my choice was my conversation with Jeff Long, who is over the business school there. He told me that I should go where God wants me.
That really made me think deeply. It made me feel like this is where God wanted me and a place where I’d grow the most as a person.
Two things that were high on my checklist was to grow as a player and as a man. I know at Auburn I can do both.
OK guys, I wanted to break down the reasons behind my decision for you.
At the end of the day it’s just a blessing to even be in this position and I realize that.
I am super excited to be an Auburn Tiger!
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