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Monday, January 21, 2013
I am asked more times than not what I think Auburn's new staff will do in recruiting. Most of the questions center around where I think Auburn will end up ranked in the national recruiting polls.
The answer is more one of not knowing. Looking into some of the variables, we can start to understand exactly what a potential recruit might face when picking Auburn as his school.
Lets face it. Auburn football was a disaster the last season and even going back as far as the last half of 2011, Auburn was struggling to produce a competitive football team. We are not here to examine why, and doing so now serves no justice. You know that every single recruiter for other schools in our conference are using this fact as ammunition against Auburn. Who can blame them.
When Jay Jacobs decided to fire Gene Chizik, he set in motion an entire array of emotions in the fan base, and also in the recruits. Some of whom were very loyal, and attached to the previous coaching staff. As Gus Malzahn went about his business of hiring his new staff, he decided an entire sweep of the previous staff was in order. There had been speculation that some members of Gene Chizik's staff would be retained. That was not to be. Recruiters are using this against Auburn as well.
The same scenario played out in 2009, when Auburn hired Gene Chizik, and he went about salvaging an Auburn recruiting class, that was started by Tommy Tubberville and his group. Auburn finished ranked 19th according to Rivals.com. Many fans that follow recruiting at Auburn were somewhat pleased, but were not buying that Chizik line that Auburn could recruit with anybody in the country. Gene Chizik and his staff proved that they could with the next couple of recruiting classes.
Auburn is recruiting from a huge disadvantage as we speak. Gus and his staff have evaluated many needs that the team faces, and won't know the true needs until after getting to practice the team, and work with them one on one in the spring. That means the true test of recruiting for this staff will be going forward into 2014.
So, when asked where Auburn will finish in recruiting, my answer has been somewhere between Top 10, and Top 25. Next year though, Auburn should be head to head with every top program in the country, and finish within the top five or six places on the recruiting trail.
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