"I pretty much had my mind set on Ole Miss after the first trip I took there," Andy Bauer said. "I went over there right after signing day and as soon as I stepped out of the car it just felt different there. Coach (Patrick Mahoney) told me a long time ago that I would not have to worry about finding the best school for me because it would feel different on my visit and he was right."
The homey feeling was not the only selling point for the Rebels.
"I would say their staff played a huge role in my decision. I also like the family atmosphere at Ole Miss. I look at what coach Freeze has done with that program in one short year, and there is no telling where he is going to take us over the next few years. Coach (Matt) Luke also played a huge role in my decision. I talk to him almost every day. We are extremely close. He is just a great guy and a great coach. I wanted to play for somebody that is new and fresh that is going to bring change to their program. They have something going on that is extremely special at Ole Miss, and I wanted to be a part of it."
Bauer took in visits from coast to coast as his recruitment started early when he received his first scholarship offer at the tender age of 14 from Oregon.
"I can't even tell you where all I have been. There are too many schools to list. I pretty much visited everyone that was interested in me. They were all great schools with great football programs. Ole Miss just felt more at home to me. I went over there again a week or so before I committed and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. My family spent the whole weekend with their coaches, and Ben Still took me around and just showed me everything there is to know about Oxford and Ole Miss. Ben and I have become close through the recruiting process. I can't say enough about Ben. He showed me around their campus and the town. It is just beautiful. The whole community is just into Ole Miss football. I took a tour of their academic center and saw how much support they give their student athletes. Everyone is just excited about Ole Miss sports down there. I got a chance to catch one of their basketball games and the passion they have for their teams is amazing. I got a chance to go out on the square and just talk to the every day people who live in that community. I just fell in love with Oxford and Ole Miss. It was a no doubter for me, really."
When did it hit the 1st Team All-State selection that Ole Miss was the school for him?
"I would say during spring break it really hit me. I prayed hard, and I knew Ole Miss was the place for me. That is where I wanted to be. I probably knew a while before then that I was going to Ole Miss but that second visit just solidified my beliefs."
Andy has already put on his recruiting hat for Ole Miss.
"I am trying to help out as much as I can. I talk to Tyler Putman and Brian Allen all of the time. We talk every week. I have a great relationship with Laremy Tunsil and Austin Golson too. I know that I will be able to come into Ole Miss and compete against the best linemen in the country. Getting a chance to compete against those guys and go up against players like Robert Nkemdiche, Channing Ward, and C.J. Johnson is going to prepare me for the NFL one day, hopefully. That was a huge plus. The momentum we have is huge. I get to practice against the best players every day and win games. Winning was very important to me, and that is what I am trying to relay to the other players that Ole Miss is recruiting. I call the Ole Miss coaches daily and ask for numbers of their top players. I am going to do everything I can to help us get another top recruiting class."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org