7A high school coach sends strong message on Auburn football co-DC's recruiting abilities

Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes defensive coordinator Charles Kelly against the
Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes defensive coordinator Charles Kelly against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Newly-hired Auburn football co-defensive coordinator Charles Kelly got the highest of praise from Enterprise High's football coach, Ben Blackmon, with the former Coach Prime assistant's recruiting chops, and relationship-building in general, being lauded.

“The biggest thing is he's honest and he builds a great relationship; stays in touch with folks and has a good relationship with the high school coaches," Blackmon said (h/t Opelika-Auburn News). "That's what recruiting is. It's about building relationships with kids and coaches in this process.

“He's been doing it a long time, so he knows a lot of people, and I think they trust that, 'Hey, if my kid goes to that university, Charles Kelly's there.' They know they're going to be taken care of. They know they're going to be worked hard, and they know they're going to maximize their potential.”

Auburn football co-defensive coordinators represent duality of man

Hugh Freeze got the yin and yang of defensive coordinators when he brought on Kelly and DJ Durkin. Kelly is the classic schmoozer, reeling in recruits from all over the state -- and as he proved at Colorado in a big way, all over the south, including talent-rich Florida -- while Durkin is your classic drill sergeant on the field.

Both came from high-profile programs last season and built vastly different reputations. We all know about the big names in Boulder, but it's undeniable that Kelly's unit had more than a few duds during the highest-profile 4-8 campaign in college football history. Durkin, meanwhile, led a sturdy Texas A&M defense that took a few lickings but still graded out as a top-20 group.

Durkin is the controversial one, Kelly is the relatable one. AU is hoping that together, they'll bring on top talents and develop them into top-tier hunters on the defensive side of the ball moving forward.