After two years of Bryan Harsin being Auburn football’s head coach, it was clear that there needed to be a big change on the Plains. Not only did the team struggle on the field, but the program seemed to struggle in all aspects off the field, as well.
One of the biggest complaints about Harsin during his time at Auburn was the lack of recruiting prowess. The Tigers had ambitious targets but seemed to miss out on most of them in the end, and there was a big focus on Harsin’s lack of relationships with high school coaches in the state of Alabama.
When Hugh Freeze was hired at the end of last year, the program seemed to get an instant boost in the realm of recruitment, with the new staff moving quickly to produce a respectable 2023 class while noting that the classes of 2024 and 2025 would be vital to the future success of the program.
Building relationships with in-state high school coaches was an early priority for Freeze and the new staff, per The Montgomery Advertiser, especially because the Tigers face consistent competition from Alabama on the other side of the state:
"“I think that was a priority from Day 1,” Freeze said April 27 when asked about building relationships within the state. “And I hope that the high school coaches and players have sensed our willingness to do whatever it takes to get back in the game. We’ve got to win some battles in this state. I think they’ve sensed that.”"
And they certainly aren’t shying away from the battles, going after prospects that have already committed to the likes of Alabama and Georgia, among others. While there are highly-ranked recruits from all around the country, prioritizing the top prospects around the state is a good place to start for Auburn football.