Five-star running back Derrick Green's interest in the Auburn Tigers will not hinge on whether or not Gene Chizik is their coach.
This is great news for Auburn, because the rumors and speculation surrounding Chizik and his future with the Tigers are not looking all too positive.
Dave Hooker of ESPN.com reports that Green's interest in the Tigers as a possible commitment destination won't be impacted by a potential coaching shakeup:
The ESPN 150 tailback from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage said he would continue to consider the SEC school even if there is a coaching change there.
"Yes sir," Green stated via text message to ESPN. "No question."
When asked if he is worried about a possible coaching change, Green stated, "Not concerned at all."
While Green isn't committed to Auburn, he does have the Tigers in his top five according to 247Sports, along with Michigan, Ole Miss Oregon and Tennessee. He projects to be one of the better recruits in the 2013 class, and he can be an elite player for whichever program he ends up with.
Auburn is in the running, so this is a big break for the Tigers in regard to his recruitment. Uncertainty is never a good thing in recruiting, but at least in the case of Green, the Tigers won't have to worry about consoling him in regard to any potential coaching changes.
This will help them in the recruiting process with Green, or at the very least a change won't hurt them.
There is a deeper message that Auburn can get out of Green's comments as well. He's not yet one of their commitments, so why should his thoughts on the coaching situation matter?
For as bad as Chizik's year on the field has been, he's done an incredible job with recruiting. His 2013 class is ranked No. 9 overall by Rivals.com, and it features three 5-star recruits on the defensive side of the ball. This season may have been bad, but Auburn's 2013 class certainly represents a lot of hope for the future.
The Tigers need to consider how a coaching change could impact those recruits. There's no guarantee that any program can hold on to a recruit until National Signing Day in general, but the chances of losing players would drastically increase if there's a coaching change.
By firing Chizik, the Tigers would be gambling with their 2013 class. Some may decide that Auburn really wasn't for them, while others may stay true to their commitments and move forward with the new coach.
There's no denying the calculated risk Auburn would be taking, but that's where Green's comments have to be an encouraging sign for the Tigers.
Will Gene Chizik be Auburn's coach next season?
While he certainly doesn't represent the whole in any way, he is an influential player in this 2013 class. If he won't be bothered by a potential coaching change, perhaps other recruits will follow suit.
That statement would be multiplied tenfold if Green does actually decide to commit to the Tigers, because then they'd be able to use one of their elite commitments as a source of stability and calmness. We've seen the impact commitments can have on other recruits in a class, and Green could end up being a positive voice in regard to the potential change at Auburn, but that's only if he does commit.
Either way, this is good for Auburn on two fronts. First, they know that a potential coaching change won't hurt them with Green.
More importantly, it just may give them another reason to go ahead with the coaching change, as Green's comments should give them reason to believe that the sky won't start falling in regard to their 2013 class.