Gene Chizik knows to win in the SEC, Auburn Recruiting is insanely important. He knows that he must get the best talent to commit to play on “The Plains.” In 2009, after less than a month on the job, Chizik and his staff hauled in the number 19 ranked recruiting class in the country. Turn the page to 2012, and the Auburn Tigers haven’t finished outside of the top 10 in recruiting rankings since his first year on the job. The early commitments for the 2013 class may give the Auburn Tigers the best recruiting class they’ve had under Chizik.
Auburn finished the 2011 season with an 8-5 record and an impressive victory over the Virginia Cavaliers in the Chick Fil A Bowl. The 2011 season was not what fans expected, especially after the National Title run in 2010. Although considered a rebuilding year, last season did not leave without some changes.
Michael Dyer, who as a freshman had an outstanding year and helped Auburn beat Oregon and win the BCS crystal ball, was let go before the bowl game. Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn left to take the head job at Arkansas State and defensive coordinator Ted Roof moved on to Central Florida, then eventually on to Penn State.
In steps Scot Loeffler and Brian VanGorder, two new coordinators hired by Chizik, that have already paid huge dividends in recruiting.
Brian Van Gorder is a name well known around the Southeastern Conference. While coaching at the University of Georgia, he produced some of the SEC’s best defenses and put a large number of Georgia players in the National Football League.
Scott Loeffler is not a known commodity in the south like VanGorder, but none the less is well experienced and has coached the likes of Tom Brady. Recruits are already starting to take notice as the 2013 recruiting class for Auburn is starting to stack up as one of the nation’s best.
The Auburn Tigers already have 17 commitments for the 2013 recruiting class, and over the last week, have added two huge recruits who are sure to be game changers.
Reuben Foster, LB, Auburn, AL:
At 6’2”, 228 pounds, Foster is the nation’s second ranked player according to Rivals.com. Foster attacks from his linebacker position and brings pain when meeting opposing players in the hole. Foster was committed to Alabama for over a year, until eight days ago when he decided to pledge his commitment to the Auburn Tigers.
Foster left Troup county High in LaGrange, GA and enrolled at Auburn High in Auburn, AL. At Auburn High, Foster is a teammate of Trooper Taylor’s son, who is the wide receivers’ coach at Auburn. Auburn may indeed be the college choice of Foster, as he inked an AU tattoo on the underside of his forearm. February is a long way away, I’d bet we haven’t heard the last of this saga.
Jordan Wilkins, RB, Cordova, TN:
Wilkins became Auburn’s 17th commitment this past week, as the running back chose the Tigers over Tennessee and Vanderbilt. As a junior, he rushed for 1,546 yards and put up 18 touchdowns. Wilkins is the first running back commit for Auburn in their 2013 recruiting class. Also an asset in the passing game, he caught 17 balls for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
Gene Chizik and his coaching staff have done a great job putting this 2013 recruiting class together. This is a crucial class and is Chizik’s fourth since he took over as head coach. Don’t underestimate the importance of VanGorder and Loeffler, as they know how to get kids ready for the NFL, which is priority number one for most recruits.