After arriving on the Plains and throwing together a Top-20 class in 2009, Gene Chizik promised to go after the top recruits in the country.
He did not disappoint.
After carefully assembling a class full of some of the nation’s top recruiters, as well as using several unconventional recruiting tactics that drew some snickers, Chizik is getting the last laugh.
Finishing in the Top 10 would have been a big score for the Tigers, but finishing in the Top Five is unbelievable, even finishing ahead of Alabama.
The future is bright on the Plains, and if Chizik can keep bringing in this level of talent, the SEC West could eventually turn into an Alabama-Auburn showdown.
Biggest pickup: RB Michael Dyer, the No. 2 back in the country and the top recruit from the state of Arkansas. Auburn had a huge chance to land the No. 1 back, Marcus Lattimore who committed to South Carolina, but not to fear, Dyer is no consolation prize.
He’s a big time recruit and the Auburn coaches are very excited about watching him develop in Gus Malzahn’s offense possibly as soon as next year.
Biggest loss: Losing out on RB Marcus Lattimore hurt, but it wasn’t something to dwell on, especially since the Tigers already had Dyer in the bag.
The two headed monster of Dyer/Lattimore would have drawn comparisons to Carnell Williams/Ronnie Brown in 2004, but the Auburn offense will have plenty of tools to use in 2010.
Picking up Arkansas DT Byran Jones as well might have vaulted this class past Texas to No. 3 overall.
What it means for AU: It means Gene Chizik’s job just got a lot harder.
For Auburn fans, that’s a good thing.
He showed what he could do with Tuberville’s players, and now he’ll have a chance to develop his own. Many of these athletes are some of the top players in the country.
He brought in the only five-star JUCO player in QB Cameron Newton (the JUCO players in AU’s class pushed them ahead of Alabama in these rankings), a big back in Dyer, a five-star OL in Shon Coleman, and filled the defensive needs the Tigers desperately needed. He also picked up DE Craig Sanders, stealing him from Alabama.
No one saw that coming.
They should be exciting to watch in 2010, but could be a year away from achieving their full potential. This 2010 class has the Auburn nation extremely excited.