You've heard of Bo Jackson but who were the QB's that handed him the ball? Outside of Auburn many may not be able to answer that question. Auburn hasn't had a problem getting running backs to the plains. Auburn ranks in the top two in the history of college in producing running backs.
QBs. That's another story.
Over 60,000 fans packed Jordan Hare for the spring game. Why? To see Chizik? To see if the defense has improved? No, it was to watch Cam Newton. Cam is the highest profiled QB Auburn has had in years. Jason Campbell was rated in the top five in the nation out of high school and didn't have the buzz Newton has had.
But why? Why doesn't Auburn get the big guns to come to the plains? Recruiting? It's hard to believe that Auburn hasn't went after the top QBs. Dye, Bowden, Tubberville surely went after them. But why don't they come?
I believe it's perception. Auburn is a running school. So why would a QB with pro dreams come to Auburn? I'm sure other schools have told the QB recruits they'd just be handing the ball off at Auburn. And for the most part, they'd be correct.
Dye went to pro-style offense, but running was their bread and butter. Bowden ran the ball with success early in his career. When he went to the Florida State passing attack, it failed. Tubberville was a running coach. He tried the spread, but didn't have the stomach for it.
Or is it the perception of Auburn that forces the coaches to run the ball?
When the nation thinks you are a running school, that has an effect on recruits. The top running backs will look, the top offensive linemen will look, but why would a big time QB? Perception will make recruits look at traditional QB schools even though they may not have the best talent to work with.
Cam Newton could change things. He was Tebow's backup when he was at Florida, He got into trouble but got a second chance. All these things will bring attention to Auburn and the QB position.
If Newton puts up big numbers and gets into the NFL, big-time recruits will take notice. If so, I think the hiring of Chizik could change the face of Auburn football. Who would thought that could happen?