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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Live blogging Gene Chizik's press conference

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik is answering questions about this year's signing class. Here's what he's had to say so far ...
  • "A very exciting day for the Auburn family."
  • Thanks coaches and their families for getting on the recruiting trail so diligently in the last year.
  • "This was a great day for Auburn."
  • Literally a year ago, laid out plan to recruit this year. "We laid out a blue print of what we were looking for for Auburn."
  • "We want the best player, but we also want the right player."
  • "Everybody's going to have notions of where this class ranks. ... We knew as we set out a year ago that we had to use this class to build a foundation for what we were trying to do at Auburn. This first building block, a year later, is exactly what we envisioned."
  • "It's going to take us some time to not only build it the right way, but get it to where we need to be."
  • "My hat's off to so many guys in this recruiting class that stuck with Auburn through thick and thin."
  • Official tally: 32 signees, 27 today, 5 count against last year.
  • Alabama a No. 1 priority. Georgia was a big priority. Want best remaining players in surrounding states in Southeast that were a good fit.
  • "It unfolded about how we thought it would."
  • On early momentum: "As the commitments were built behind the scenes, they stayed in touch with each other. There was really an uncommon bond, really different from what I've ever seen. It seems like they've already been playing together for a year."
  • On getting top players from Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas: "We're prepared to do it. The young man goes through a more difficult process." Chizik tells recruits to go with their heart and not follow the agendas of people around them. "I think if you want to make this a fair fight, so to speak, I think we'll be able to go into any state we want."
  • On Auburn being a consensus top-five class: "All of us involved in football know that we don't know how this class will pan out in two to three years. ... I feel good that it was a job well done. But those rankings, they won't pan out for two or three years."
  • On the 28-signee limit, he said the challenges come down to the end of recruiting. "You've got to have a great plan."
  • Auburn needed offensive linemen and got a bunch. Defensive line and linebackers were other positions where simply numbers were an issue. "I think overall we addressed the needs, even on special teams."
  • He's willing to spend scholarships on guys who affect field position, hence scholarship for a kicker and punter in this class.
  • Auburn has one more spot open for one more signee. Chizik said they'll be "open-minded" to what's out there if the situation arises.
  • He said they have a plan for if too many people qualify.
  • Chizik acknowledged that there were some anxious moments. "I'm anxious until I get the fax in."
  • On Corey Lemonier, who announced today: "We had a great hope for what Corey would be doing today." He acknowledged they weren't 100 percent sure that he would sign.
  • He's high on Jeffrey Whitaker, who will bring a lot to the interior defensive line. "He's exactly what we're looking for."
  • On the late commitments who were under-the-radar: "You always are thinking, who's the next guy?" Chizik said it's usually guys who fit the team well but for some reason or another didn't get a scholarship off the bat. "We feel really good about how we're evaluating guys."
  • On Ladarious Phillips: "He's so athletic. He can play on both sides of the ball. He can really play. Athletically, I think there are a lot of options there for him. That was one of those situations that popped up and we had our eye on him for a looooong time."
  • On WR Trovon Reed: "When you talk about solid guys through the whole process and guys under pressure, he has been a rock through this whole campaign." Chizik said he wasn't worried. It would have shocked Chizik if he had gone elsewhere. That's how solid he was to Auburn.
  • On the recruiting gimmicks of the last year: "We've got a very creative staff. We've got personalities that range from A to Z. We literally sit around as a staff and talk about being creative and talking about things that are creative to potential student-athletes." Chizik noted that it still comes down to hard work to get guys, regardless of how creative you are.
  • On Shon Coleman: "The whole family has been solid as a rock. Since the day they committed, they've been committed to Auburn."
  • On Michael Dyer: "Solid from the beginning to the end. It's incredible what he brings to the table, not just as a football player." Chizik said he has a dynamic personality. Called him one of the funnest guys to recruit.
  • More on Dyer. He's a dual situation. Chizik said he's probably one of the strongest running backs in terms of power running, breaking tackles. But he still has great vision. "When he hits a crease and has to out-run people, he's certainly capable of doing that too."
  • Lattimore came up. Chizik didn't bite. "I'll talk about our 32 recruits all day."


Cal Naughton, Jr. said...

Go ahead, make your jokes, Mr. Jokey... Joke-maker. But let me hit you with some knowledge. Quit now. Save yourself the embarrassment of losing with these losers in Las Vegas, La Fleur.

Scott Nelson said...

Thanks you for providing such great coverage of the press conference for those of us who could not tune in live...I have referenced your BLOG on my FB page with LOTS of AU fans/grads/supporters. Thanks again!

ExKnightMike said...

Great job, Andy! And great job Auburn coaches!

Congrats and welcome to all the new Auburn Tigers.