Gene Chizik has the Auburn Tigers in Uncharted Recruiting Waters


The Auburn Tigers have always been consistent on the recruiting trail, snagging top talent from Georgia, Florida and to a lesser degree in the state of Alabama. There have been down years for Auburn recruiting—as there is for every program—but overall the Tigers have pulled their share of top talent. Despite the history of success, Gene Chizik has the Auburn Tigers in uncharted recruiting waters heading into the 2012 season—and it’s a good thing.

In the final years of the Tuberville era the Tigers were still pulling in some top level talent, but rarely did the players qualify or last on roster more than a year or two.

Gene Chizik took over the program and immediately made it his goal to get top level talent—that would qualify—to land again on the Plains. In the past three seasons the Tigers have landed inside the top 10 of the majority of recruiting services. The Tigers have landed two classes inside the top five, representing the level of talent that is present on the Auburn roster heading into 2012.

The Auburn Tigers won a national title in 2010, but it was ahead of schedule and had help from a few marquee pickups by Chizik and his staff—Cam Newton being one of them. The Tigers had a lot of senior leadership, but there was a gap in talent and leadership that led to a number of young stars making early impacts. With the leadership of Cam Newton and a top 10 rushing defense, the Tigers attained the unexpected and won a title.

This season the Tigers will have the first full roster of 85—or close to it—since the arrival of Chizik’s staff. Auburn also returns 18 starters to the field and despite a quarterback battle that is heading into fall camp, there is experience at the position.

The Chizik led Tigers have been able to land top rated talent and turn what was expected to be a mediocre season into a national title winning one in 2010. The Tigers have also turned low expectations into bowl winning finishes that have launched the Tigers into what appears to be a very good season on the horizon in 2012.

The success has come from the rebirth of the Auburn recruiting scene, but more importantly, a new phase of Auburn recruiting has commenced. The Tigers are now among the nation’s elite every single season.

This year, the Tigers are building what could be the best recruiting class ever on the Plains.

Yes, the Tigers have landed a number of top talents in the past—dating back to the early 1900’s—but never before have the Tigers had this much talent already on board, with even more top athletes likely to join the 2013 class in the near future. has come out with a new composite scoring system that takes the average of all the major recruited services across the country and combines them into a single ranking. Currently, Auburn is No. 8 on the list with three five-star rated players.

The Tigers have another five-star—Montravius Adams—that is a heavy Auburn lean, as well as two four-star running backs—Greg Bryant and Derrick Green—and four-star safety Tray Mathews that are strong possibilities to land on the Plains.

Another top target that could pull the trigger for the Tigers is four-star offensive tackle Tyrone Crowder. Don’t sleep on four-star Jayron Kearse either—the south Florida native has been an Auburn commitment previously and is set to announce this coming Friday between Auburn and Clemson.

If Auburn is able to finish out this class with half of those big names on the signing day class roster in February, it will be the best recruiting haul that has ever landed in Auburn.

Gene Chizik has been able to do more than just land top talent—he has also been able to keep the majority of those players in class and on the field. If this class continues to fill out the way that Auburn expects it to, the Tigers will have landed the best class in school history.

Chizik is launching the Auburn program into the national spotlight; all the Auburn Family needs to do is hold on and enjoy the show. Auburn is becoming a consistent contender for top talent and championships under Gene Chizik and his cast of experienced and talented coaches.

The ride is just beginning.