New Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze knew he had a challenge in front of him when he took the job. From hiring a coaching staff to figuring out the program to managing the roster to hitting the recruiting trail, there was a lot of work to do. But, refreshingly, it was a challenge he was willing to take.
The whole team has been on a learning curve throughout this offseason, learning new schemes and new people— coaches and players. By this fall, over 40 new Auburn football players will be on campus, from incoming freshmen to transfers.
While working his tail off to improve the program, Freeze has also worked hard to try to temper the expectations of Tiger fans in his first year, acknowledging that while the roster has been improved, there is still a long way to go. With just over a month until the 2023 football season arrives, Freeze knows the work isn’t finished yet, per AL.com:
"“I think our program is a work in progress,” Freeze told local Auburn media members Tuesday. “I think anybody that has followed it will say that. I’m okay with that, and they’ve got to be okay with that.”"
The Tigers’ head coach went on to explain that he’s hardly had time to get to know his team yet, and due to his arrival after spring practices Freeze hasn’t even seen Payton Thorne throw the football yet. There is a lot of ground to cover before September 2 rolls around, and not a lot of time to do it.
"“There’s no skirting the issue,” Freeze said. “That’s a challenge for us, to try to formulate a team from so many different and new faces in a very short amount of time.”"
For now, fans will have to be satisfied knowing that the Auburn football program is, at the very least, back on an upward trajectory.