Queen wasted little time in choosing where he plans to call his home after high school, verbally committing to Auburn on Wednesday during a campus visit with his parents.
The rising junior became the first commitment for the Tigers’ prospective signing class of 2015.
“The main thing was to not have the distraction of college recruiting interfering with the season,” Queen said. “I wanted to get it out of the way. I want to focus on high school and helping North Cobb win a state championship.”
Queen had offers from several schools, including Alabama, Miami, North Carolina, Clemson and Louisville. He started making campus visits as soon as he could, once coaches expressed interest, and paid special attention to the types of offensive systems schools ran, focusing on ones that were similar to North Cobb’s.
“Clemson, UNC, Miami — a lot of the schools run a similar variation on what we do, so those were schools I targeted,” Queen said. “I thought it was important for me to start building relationships with those coaches as soon as they expressed interest and see how we interact. That was big for me.”
Queen made his first visit to Auburn in early June and “fell in love with the campus,” he said. He returned June 10 for a one-day football camp, where the Tigers’ coaching staff offered him a scholarship.
Queen will get the chance to play for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, a respected offensive mind who worked closely with former Tigers quarterback Cam Newton in 2010, when Newton won the Heisman Trophy.
“I built a great relationship with (the coaching staff) during that first visit and everything fell into place,” Queen said. “I feel really blessed and humbled to have this decision over. I’m very excited to focus on the season.”
From the start of his freshman season, Queen has enjoyed a quick rise in prominence.
After entering the 2011 season as North Cobb’s third-string quarterback, he played his first game in the Warriors’ season-opening 29-26 loss to Alpharetta, after the team’s top two quarterbacks were lost to injuries in the second half.
Queen remained in the starting lineup the rest of the year, leading North Cobb to a 5-6 record and a state playoff appearance.
Last season, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder led the Warriors to an 11-3 record and a state semifinal appearance, completing 165 of 293 attempts for 2,607 yards, 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also rushed 163 times for 925 yards and 20 scores.
Queen’s father and North Cobb coach, Shane Queen, went along for the first two visits to Auburn and knew how his son felt about joining the Tigers.
“This is a dream come true for a father to see his kid have a chance to play at the next level,” the elder Queen said. “He had an opportunity to commit as a junior, and his decision was made.”
Wednesday’s trip was Tyler Queen’s third to Auburn. Before confirming his commitment, he wanted his mother to see the school and meet with the coaching staff and hear what she had to say.
“Tyler and I had been there twice already,” Shane Queen said. “His mom hadn’t been there yet. We went there with the intention that if she approved and gave her blessing, the decision would happen (Wednesday).
“She saw the campus and met the staff and everything went well. She saw how excited Tyler was about going there, and neither one of us wanted to stand in his way. It’s his decision and his future.”
With his college commitment taken care of, Tyler Queen is looking forward to the season. His father is also looking forward to the season and is excited for his son to have this behind him so soon.
“It’s not for everyone to commit early,” Shane Queen said. “But if you fall in love with a school and know that’s where you want to be, why keep visiting?
“This was our family’s decision, and now Tyler can be a regular teenager and not have to worry about this later.”