AUBURN, Ala. — Step one of Badara Traore‘s official visit journey is complete.
The 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive lineman from ASA College in New York made his first of five official visits to Auburn over the weekend. Traore spent Friday to Sunday on the Plains, most of his time with offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. or offensive line coach Herb Hand.
His first official visit lived up to his lofty expectations.
“It was great. I had a good few nights here. I saw around Auburn. I enjoyed myself. I loved it here,” Traore said. “I could definitely see myself coming here for the next two or three years of my career.”
The highlight of Traore’s official visit came on the final day of his visit. He had a personal sit-down with Hand to discuss the Tigers’ depth chart specifically on the offensive line.
After that conversation, it became clear to Traore that the Tigers don’t just want him — they need him.
“It’s big. Me and coach Hand sat down earlier, and he drew it down, how much he needs me. I saw it right there. I’m excited. He laid it out. He needs me. I appreciate him doing that for me. Now, I see where I stand,” Traore said. “He’s a good man. I spent some time with him last night and the night before. We had a good time and went out to eat.”
Traore released a top 7 earlier this summer that included Auburn, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon and Nebraska. Auburn was his first official visit. Traore will take all five of his remaining officials, though specific dates aren’t determined. He said LSU, Ole Miss and Oklahoma will get one. The fifth official visit will be decided “later on.”
The December graduate will enroll early and still doesn’t have an announcement plan.
“I have no idea yet. I’m still trying to figure it out once I take some visits. I’ll sit down with my parents and family and see what the best school is for me,” Traore said.
As for fit, Auburn works well with Traore.
He knows the Tigers have need at offensive line. Plus, Auburn’s offense operates almost identically to what he runs in junior college. Traore has tracked the Tigers for several years now and his visit to the Plains only amplified what he already knew about Auburn.
“I knew a lot about Auburn as far as watching Cam Newton play, watching a lot of Greg Robinson play the left tackle position. I knew a lot. I knew the history. That’s why I came down and took a visit,” Traore said. “Auburn came and blew me away. I can see myself here. They’re definitely up there for me. People are always saying hello or War Eagle. I feel like everyone is here for one cause, and that’s the players. I appreciate that.”
Traore has three years to play two seasons.