Published December 17, 2012 - 1:30pm
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
When coaching changes happen like they did at Auburn, schools are bound to lose commitments from prospects who have already pledged their allegiance to that school. It’s the nature of the beast that is recruiting. And the Tigers are no exception, as they certainly have lost some longtime and highly ranked prospects since Gus Malzahn took over.
One of the new coach’s top priorities is to keep the existing recruiting class intact, and it’s a balancing act between being the sole recruiter and hiring assistant coaches with only a limited amount of time.
Under Gene Chizik, Auburn had the #2 overall class in the SEC and had a top five class in the country, headlined by blue-chip linebacker Reuben Foster.
Auburn has lost four big-time prospects, six total commitments, in the last few weeks:
- Jarrad Davis, LB: Florida flipped Davis’ commitment last week, as he became the Gators’ fourth linebacker commit in the ‘13 class.
- Reuben Foster, LB: The top linebacker in the country de-committed after Malzahn cut ties with ace recruiter Trooper Taylor, and that was the right call even if Foster goes elsewhere. No recruit is worth sacrificing a plan for the future. Foster is said to be considering Alabama, Auburn, Washington and UGA.
- Tre Johnson, LB: Johnson opened things back up, and Ohio State, Florida, Penn State, USC and Auburn are still in the mix. Johnson is a stud linebacker.
- JaQuay Williams, WR: Williams signed with Auburn last season, but he enrolled in prep school after not qualifying for Auburn. Williams, however, shunned Auburn recently and committed to Texas A&M. He was long thought a Georgia lean as an Auburn commit, but the Aggies cherry picked him straight out of the heart of Bulldog and Tiger country. The Aggies’ brand is clearly expanding, thanks to a 10-win season and Johnny Manziel.
Auburn shouldn’t freak out over losing six commitments, at least right now due to coaching turnover. It’s normal, and with every coaching regime change, de-commitments happen.
Photo Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports