Gene Chizik spent some time this morning talking with reporters about issues of the day.
This is a basic overview. I'll have a more thorough summary of his comments -- and video highlights -- within the hour.
- He hasn't spoken with Raven Gray, Tray Blackmon, Ryan Williams or Chris Slaughter. Chizik said it was fair to say those players probably won't return for 2009, but clearly left the door open for at least some of those players to return if they choose.
- Here is what Chizik said when asked about these guys leaving: "You know, the bottom line is, I want guys who want to be at Auburn. And again, I'll say that until I'm blue in the face. We want the right guys for this place. And don't have a whole lot of background knowledge on the people who aren't here, but as I've said before, I'm not spending time on guys that aren't here. I'm spending time on guys that are here. And that's how I'll be from here until they put me in my grave. The ones that aren't here, I don't have a whole lot of time to worry about that."
- He said efforts to fill the final three coaching positions are on-going and will continue into next week.
- He seemed to indicate this effort to recruit throughout Texas and Kansas is an anomaly. He said only pre-existing relationships are at play there. Recruiting Alabama and the surrounding area will remain the Tigers' top priority.
- He said his top recruiting priorities are offensive line, wideout and "one really good quarterback."
- On connecting with his current players: "They started school Wednesday, so we had Wednesday morning we had a team meeting, and that went real well, just kind of laid out there what our vision is for this semester. And been calling players in individually through the days and just talking to some of them about expectations and leadership and the things that I think are going to be important for us to be successful this year. So some of them I know. There's a small handful I know from when I left here, believe it or not. The Aairon Savages of the world. Guys like that. But just trying to call as many of them in as I can and know them. Put a face with a name. Haven't had a lot of time to do that. But met with quite a few of them.
- On the importance of the next three weekends from a recruiting perspective: "We met last night with our hosts, with our players that are going to be helping us for the week. I told them this is like game day, you've got to treat this like game day. That's the importance of these weekends. We have three, and all three of those have to be home runs. It's got to be a home run weekend and we've got to treat it like a game day. At the end of the day you win or you lose. It's really that cut and dry."