The Auburn Tigers have reportedly hired Guz Malzahn (per AuburnSports.com) to be the new head coach of the the football program. Overall, this is a solid move from a recruiting standpoint.
Most importantly for now, this will help keep the 2013 class intact and that could be the most important aspect of this hire in the short term. There's a lot of work left to do at Auburn, but hiring Malzahn is a great first step.
Note: Here's the statement from Auburn on the hire.
Auburn found that out first-hand, as it lost 4-star receiver JaQuay Williams and 4-star linebacker Trey Johnson soon after firing Chizik. At the very least, Auburn will be able to shake that uncertainty surrounding the program and that will pay huge dividends in recruiting.
Auburn's current 2013 commitments now know who they will be playing for, and that should be a big relief. The Tigers' recruiting class is extremely talented—especially defensively—so being able to get Malzahn talking with these recruits about the future of the program instead of the dismal 2013 season and firing of Chizik will be a breath of fresh air.
There's also the fact that Malzahn should be a very familiar name for Auburn recruits. He was the offensive coordinator for the Tigers from 2009-2011, before taking the head coaching job at Arkansas State.
Many consider him to be one of the huge reasons the Tigers won the BCS National Chamionship with Cam Newton running his offense.
Speaking of Malzahn's offense, here's how Jay G. Tate of AuburnSports.com characterized Malzahn as a coach:
Malzahn, 47, is one of the nation's most high-profile proponents of run-based variations of the spread offense. He fused elements of standard spread attacks and misdirection rushing attacks into a consolidated scheme during his days as a high-school coach in Arkansas. He brought those ideas to the college scene at Tulsa and later at Auburn, where his offense carried the team to the 2010 national championship by averaging 499 yards per game in 2010. He left for Jonesboro after a lackluster finale as offensive coordinator in 2011.
Long-term, restoring an exciting and efficient brand of offense is going to be key for Auburn's recruiting, but it should also be very exciting for some of the elite offensive recruits Malzahn will be inheriting for 2013.
It could also really help to attract a few more recruits, as there is still plenty of time in this recruiting cycle.
Two undecided offensive recruits that have Auburn on their interests lists are 5-star running backs Greg Bryant and Derrick Green. One has to wonder how hiring an offensive-minded head coach will impact their interest in Auburn.
For those wondering about the defense, any good defender knows that a great offense is the best defense, so this hire should only encourage elite defensive Auburn commitments like 5-star linebacker Reuben Foster or 5-star defensive ends Dee Liner and Carl Lawson.
Your thoughts on the hire:
Frankly, there's a lot to like about this hire. It may not be the flashiest decision Auburn could have made, but it was a safe one. Auburn will be going with a coach it knows and one that has experienced success at its program.
This hire should also help keep the 2013 recruiting class intact, and considering how much potential those players have, it's easy to predict more success on the way for Malzahn at Auburn.
This time around, though, he'll be the head coach.