How will Auburn's football recruiting situation wind up on Feb. 6?
National championships aren't won on national signing day, but it's still an important date on the calendar for new Auburn head coach Guz Malzahn.
"Any time a new staff comes in you have to play catch up," Malzahn said, according to Charles Goldberg of Alabama.com. "But the coaching staff has done a great job in identifying the guys and working hard, so I'm very pleased with the staff.”
It’s good that Malzahn is in good spirits, as he is continuing to lose recruits who committed to the program while Gene Chizik was the top dog in town.
Those decommits were to be expected, though, and shouldn’t make anyone panic too much.
Malzahn’s current class is ranked at No. 19 by 247sports.com, but could improve down the stretch leading up to signing day.
Let’s take a look at why some commits could fall to the Tigers before all is said and done.
Chizik’s method clearly wasn’t working. Both his recruiting and his system were outdated and did little to help the school close the gap between Alabama and the rest of the SEC. After Cam Newton left, so did Auburn’s hopes of contending.
Malzahn has experience at the school, having been the offensive coordinator for Newton when the team won the national title. His approach is a shift, but not a complete overhaul and installment of something foreign to the program.
His same offensive philosophy helped Arkansas State to a potent offense (34.9 points per game) and a GoDaddy.com Bowl victory over Kent State in December.
This might be a little obvious, but every top recruit isn’t going to pick Alabama. Plus, they can’t, either. There are only so many guaranteed scholarships, promises of playing time and other incentives one school can give out.
That will work in Malzahn’s favor on signing day.
Some schools are stacked at certain positions, meaning the Tigers can offer more immediate playing time or promises of competition for underclassmen.
That’s sure to be appealing to recruits who want to get an early start on making a name for themselves.