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Honest Take

Snaggletiger

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Honest Take
« on: September 01, 2023, 11:52:44 AM »
Article from Bryan Matthews at Rivals. U Free seems pretty candid here, and reading between the lines makes you think, the man might need a week in Turks & Caicos.  Not that he would pull a Bryman Hartpin, but you can tell it's a little overwhelming.


AUBURN | Whether it’s NAIA Lambuth, Arkansas State, Ole Miss or Liberty, Hugh Freeze has plenty of experience guiding a program through his first season as a head coach.

But none of his previous stops completely prepared Freeze for what he’s faced at Auburn.

“It’s been the most challenging and uncomfortable new position that I’ve ever had with just everything that is about college football now,” said Freeze. “Having so many new faces, some of which didn’t get here until summer, and trying to formulate a team and a culture that you want with a new staff.

“And recruiting is quite different where he doesn’t end after February anymore. It was constant all through the spring. It’s been quite challenging and, truthfully, you’re still trying to put the pieces together and getting help to drive the culture from the locker room that you want and how we want to go about setting the standard of how we go about doing things and how do we hold each other accountable for that.”

The transfer portal and current NCAA recruiting calendar doesn’t allow coaches to spend as much quality time as they’d prefer team building. It also creates a lot of roster turnover with many position groups not settled until the summer, just months or weeks before the start of fall camp.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling that way. Even if you’ve been at a place, I think you can still experience considerable turnover. That is the new world we’re facing. We’ve got to adjust and find ways that work,” said Freeze.

Of course, even in the new world of college football, Freeze has some old-world problems heading into Auburn’s season opener against UMass.

“My only previous experience in this conference was when I took over at Ole Miss, and I think the conference is considerably better now than it was then, which makes it even more uncomfortable,” said Freeze. “And obviously facing a very improved UMass team in Week 1 and we have so many new faces, new spots, new staff, some nagging injuries we’re dealing with, it’s very hard to gauge where you are.

“I feel really good about our running back room. I feel really good about our tight end room. And I think for the most part after that, everything is kinda unproven. So it’s really hard to gauge.”

Kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.
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WiregrassTiger

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Re: Honest Take
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2023, 12:35:21 PM »
Hugh seems to be as straightforward in answering as he can be. It’s not all canned coach speaking that he goes to. Surely he can’t open completely up but I appreciate the level of candor that he affords.

I never paid attention to that about him before he came here. I never liked him but I didn’t want to like him. He was at Ole Miss.

And I realize the guy can still look you in the eye and sell you the extended warranty plan that you swore you’d damn well never be swindled into.
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