Did Auburn Fail at Recruting?

In our opinion while certainly not the best recruiting ever, Chizik and Auburn filled some outstanding needs in 2012.

Depending on who you listen to, Auburn either under achieved or failed miserably at recruiting this year.  We tend to disagree, on both counts.

Not every kid is looking for “immediate playing time” as the primary reason to commit.  If they were, Alabama wouldn’t land any big time recruits.

Did Auburn miss on some big names they were after, without a doubt.  However,  it can’t be called a complete failure when they did land a 4 star DB, 2 4 Star LBs, and a 4 star DT.  Auburn is loaded at DE now as it is, and they satisfied a need filling players at every other spot.  Yes, we all wanted Goldman, and yes we wanted Kwon.  We missed.  It happens.

This staff takes a whole different approach to recruiting.  Tommy Tuberville used to primarily focus on kids within a 4 hour drive, and kids he was virtually certain he would land, regardless of talent, or their ability to qualify.  The only star players he got, were usually Auburn locks anyway, and the few he stole, like Cadillac, were in-state kids.

Go back and look on Rivals at Auburn’s 2002, 03, 04 classes that are littered with 2 star players.  Plenty!  Tell me how many of them turned out to be “diamonds in the rough”.  Damn few if memory serves.  The 2004 class had 29 commits, and 13 – 2 star players.  THIRT-TEEN!  Two had NONE!  Over half the class were 2 star and below!  Of those players I recall Blake Field, only because he was a QB.  Tyronne Greene who came in as a DT, and wound up being a starting OL.  Merrill Johnson and Chris Evans who I remember contributing as ok LB’s.   Lorenzon Ferguson  contributed at DB, and James Swinton a contributing WR.  None of those guys were stars, and the bulk of them did little at Auburn, but hey, Tuberville got a huge signing class!  Tuberville’s efforts in recruiting were already declining.  2004 happened because they had worked hard in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

This staff?  They’re getting on planes, and going to California, Wash. DC, Tx. etc.  The only time Tuberville ever got on a plane was to go to Miami.  This staff is making legit efforts at kids who would never otherwise consider Auburn.  They’ve landed a few too.  Yes, as they should, they’re still working AL, GA, FL and MS hard, and they’re going for the best players there too, not just taking in any kid that will come to fill NSD numbers.  This staff hasn’t signed a single 2 star in the last 2 classes, and of the handful they did in 2009 and 2010, one was a good kicker (Steven Clark), and one was Darren Bates, who according to his commitment date just days prior to NSD, was a Chizik recruit, or at least one he honored from Tuberville’s offer.

We landed a top 12 class.  We finished ahead of every SEC team except Alabama and UGA is one spot ahead of us on the strength of 2 5 star players.

The fact we didn’t “round out” the class with 2 or 3 star nobodies, tells me this staff knows how to recruit quality..not quantity.

Did we miss on some?  Yes.  Miserable failure on any level?  Not even close.

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