Auburn is up
- "I don't like discussing the issues, who we voted for. I don't want to open myself to answering this every time. I did vote for Tim Tebow."
NOTE: This is a major reversal from what he said 15 minutes earlier.
- He said Philip Pierre-Louis and Cam Henderson are on the team.
- He said WR Montez Billings will play this season.
- He said Dax Dellenbach is gone.
- He said all fall practices will be closed.
- He didn't provide much insight into the injuries involving S Mike McNeil, WR Tim Hawthorne, QB Chris Todd (the lingering shoulder issue) and S Aairon Savage.
- On the expectations to win immediately: "There's pressure everywhere. We put enough pressure on ourselves to be great. I want to be the best at my trade. With that comes self-imposed pressure. The pressure is going to be there no matter what school you're at. It comes with the territory."
- On Malzahn: "Gus has a great, great record of being balanced. We're on the same page as far as what we want to do in that direction."
- Chizik has nothing substantive to add about the quarterback situation.
- On the billboards: "I don't know how the outside world views Auburn ... and specifically Auburn football. Everything we do will be in the direction of promoting Auburn University. We're very proud of Auburn. So are the Auburn people."
- On SEC vs. Big 12: "There's no great league than the SEC. You've got great players. You've got great coaches. The interest is at an all-time high. I'm extremely happy to be back in this conference."
- On his reception: "I feel like we have the greatest fans on the planet. I've lived Auburn for three years of my life. The fans are off the chart. Every place that I've gone, my staff and myself have been accepted with open arms. There's excitement in the air. Our fans have been through a lot. Auburn fans are resilient; they keep coming back."
- On being low-key all the time: "I've got three children and a wife. I get plenty of attention when I go home. I don't need attention. I have to go out and gather attention to myself. This isn't about me; it's about Auburn. It's just who I am. I'm here to draw attention to Auburn in a positive light."
- On possibly being considered for the UCF job several years ago: "I don't live in the past, honestly. My steps have been ordered. Where I am is where I'm supposed to be. I know there's a bigger plan for my life. (UCF) is obviously not one of those places where I was supposed to coach."
- On the rising salaries for assistants: "I love it. These guys sacrifice a lot. There's pressure on the assistants to win as well. They feel it. I love the fact that the money for the assistants is starting to rise. It's very valid, in my opinion. We should do all we can do to take care of them and their families. People say, `They make so much money.' They have a higher risk on their job than most people have, too."
- Is the recruiting pizazz worth it?: "We recruit the right guy for Auburn. If you look at the commitments that we've got, it's because they're the right guy for Auburn. We don't get validated by the outside world's opinion on recruits. I trust what we see. We're not trying to impress anybody."
- On the influence of Charlie Pell, who coached at Florida when Chizik was a walk-on linebacker: "He was a tough guy, ran a great program. I've been around a lot of others, too. That had an influence on me, yes."
- On Emory Blake and Dee Benton: "Not one of them have taken a snap at Auburn. I'll simply say they're talented guys in our opinion. It's going to take some time for them to get used to doing all the things you have to do to play in this league. Those two have a lot of talent. We hope they can step up to the plate and help our offense this season. We haven't even had a practice yet. Only time will tell."
- On Auburn's perch in the SEC: "The SEC West is tough. Every week is a dogfight. Our plan is to contend for a championship in everything we do. We don't think that's outside the realm of possibility. The goal is to win the SEC West. In this league, anything can happen. It's not like SEC West championships are a stranger to Auburn."
THAT'S A WRAP. Next up is ... someone else.