Auburn football nearly knocking off No. 1 Georgia at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 30 was merely “icing” on what was already a program-shifting recruiting weekend for Hugh Freeze’s Tigers according to AL.com’s Matt Cohen.
“It’s not a coincidence Auburn picked this weekend to show off the school,” Cohen prefaced before saying, “It was a chance for a larger group of potential Auburn players to meet in one place, to see a sold-out, amped-up Jordan-Hare Stadium. Getting a game as thrilling as the near Auburn upset that occurred was just icing.”
Freeze had already slapped on a disclaimer before the Tigers’ three-game stretch that started in College Station with AU’s 27-10 loss to Texas A&M on September 23 and will conclude on October 14 in Death Valley against LSU. So far, the expectations of being overmatched talent-wise have born fruit, with UGA overcoming a crowd-fueled 10-0 first-quarter Tigers lead and relying on its all-world passing weapons in the receiving corps and future NFL great Brock Bowers after Texas A&M dominated at home against AU from whistle to whistle.
Auburn football fans must play their role in recruiting
Believe it or not, fanbases can have an effect on where recruits choose to play. Social media support can sway a player toward a passionate fanbase, but that passion can become toxic if the negativity goes overboard.
Remember, these are kids aged 17-21. Choosing a program in which one can thrive under low expectations is preferable to playing for a fanbase that is hard on their guys if they lose when the large majority of them aren’t seeing NIL earnings to justify being treated like a professional.
Auburn fans are known for caring more about their own school, and the sport in general, but there are also countless examples of great players (Bo Nix springs to mind here) who were run off the Plains due to a number of factors that include a lack of public support.
When a two-touchdown underdog whose roster was rebuilt practically overnight in the offseason nearly beats a two-time reigning national champion, the negativity isn’t necessary in the immediate aftermath. It was far too prevalent on the Plains post-Georgia loss, though.