Auburn recruiting has taken a huge step forward with the arrival of Head Coach Gene Chizik. In his short stint as Head Coach, I have seen Auburn go after more high profile recruits (as rated by Rivals.com) than I have seen at any previous time in my lifetime following Auburn. A lot of the credit should go to this fine staff of recruiters that Coach Chizik has hired, because they are indeed some of the best in the nation. These coaches have already found new and exciting ways to reach out to recruits such as the Tiger Prowl, Big Cat Weekend and the planned un-named event to be held later in the summer and I would imagine that this type of outside of the box thinking will continue to be present from signing day to signing day.
The Auburn staff got the in-state recruiting off with a bang when they introduced the “Tiger Prowl”, an event in which they took a stretch limo that was filled full of assistant coaches visiting different high schools across the state of Alabama. The Tiger Prowl caught media attention locally and nationally, heck, it even drew the ire of Coach Urban Meyer when he incorrectly thought that Auburn had offered potential prospects rides in the limo. I know that this tactic was received with mixed emotion among some Auburn fans, but if the kids love it, then I love it. I thought it was a great way for the staff to travel around the state introducing itself and being very visible in doing so. Recruiting is all about relationships and with that being said, it was a great idea on Auburn’s part to have a staff of coaches travel together around the state and spark those relationships among the kids and high school coaches. I believe Auburn is at its best when the roster is filled with Alabama and Georgia kids. I know, at least from my days with the team, that if a player is from a certain state and Auburn plays a team from that state, the player seemed to be more motivated to win that game. With that being said, Auburn needs to win its share of the in-state talent and the Tiger Prowl was a great beginning to building these needed relationships.
This past weekend, the Auburn coaches held their first Annual “Big Cat Weekend” and by all accounts, it seems to have been a smashing success among those who attended. I am not going to bore you with the details of who attended, because there are plenty of good sites out there that specialize in that, such as auburnsports.com and auburnundercover.com, but this weekend involved Auburn bringing in a big group of highly rated high school seniors to get a feel for Auburn, the coaches, current players and an opportunity to do so in a relaxed environment. The most impressive thing about this weekend is that the Auburn coaches were able to get these kids and their parents to pay their own way to Auburn and back including all their living expenses, especially with some of these kids coming from as far away as Texas and Connecticut. I cannot think of a weekend like this, in which a school has hosted this many unofficial visitors in the middle of summer and it not be a football camp, and to also have them all be big time recruits is icing on the cake. For me, this seems to be one of the best idea’s out of Auburn in a long time and I look forward to seeing what dividends pay off due to this weekend.
Coach Chizik has made one thing clear when it comes to recruiting and it is that Auburn is going to go after the best players and not be intimidated by others from doing so. It is very evident that Coach Tuberville had backed down from this type of a challenge, choosing to not put the effort in recruiting players that he thought Auburn could not attain, but if you never try, then you never know. This approach to recruiting is very refreshing and a big deviation from the Auburn Football Camp mentality of recruiting where Auburn used to try and get players to their camps and then offer them based on what they saw in the camp. Auburn may be lacking in talent right now when you look at the roster, especially once you get past the starters, but it will not take long for Auburn to build up a good team of depth and talent with this type of recruiting. I love the direction that our program is headed and I really believe the coaches are creating the base of a solid foundation for years to come. There will definitely be bumps along the road, but I don’t believe Auburn will get knocked off its path, especially if the Auburn coaches are able to continue the momentum that has been generated these last few months. I am personally looking forward to what the Auburn coaches have planned for later this summer, and before long, we will get to see these same coaches on the field in action.
Please drop me a line and share your thoughts in the comment section about how you feel about Auburn Recruiting and anything else. Thanks for your time and keep checking back. War Eagle!