Gene Chizik live blog
- He has arrived.
- ``It's a very exciting day for the Auburn family."
- ``Literally when this day ended a year ago, we came other and laid down a vision of what we wanted to do for the next year."
- ``We laid down a blueprint of what we were looking for ... for Auburn. It's not always about getting the best player. He has to be the right player. I'm as much or more proud of that than the talent we brought into this class."
- On how the class stacks up nationally: ``Everybody's going to have a different opinion on that. We knew we really had to use this class to build a foundation of what we're trying to do at Auburn. This building block, exactly a year later, was exactly what we envisioned."
- ``I want the people to be excited. I also want people to understand this is the first building block on a foundation. A year ago looking back, our goal was simply to start laying that foundation and building it from the ground up."
- On the recruits: ``They stuck with Auburn thick and thin -- and nothing was going to change them. That's a tribute to our coaches."
- ``Alabama is our No. 1 priority, kids in this state. We signed 11."
- ``It unfolded about how we thought it would. It's the first block in a long building process."
- On early momentum: ``As the commitments were build behind the scenes, a lot of them stayed in touch with each there. There really was an uncommon bond there. So many guys in this particular class -- it seems like they've been playing together for a year. It's been a real cool, clear line of communication."
- On winning on out-of-state turf: ``The young man goes through a more difficult process. What we try to tell these guys is really simple -- you have to go with your heart. You'll have people around you with agendas. If you make this a fair fight, so to speak, we'll always have a chance to go into other states and recruit well."
- On this being a top-5 class: ``It's nice that on this day that the people who are experts are along the same line of thinking -- that it's a good class. We don't know how it's going to pan out. Those rankings really, they won't pan out for two or three years in terms of knowing how good those classes really were."
- On the 28-player max: ``You have to have a great plan. You really have to be cognizant during the past few days when scholarships are going out. As long as you've got a good plan and you're organized, it shouldn't be an issue."
- Said he was going primarily after OL, DL and LB.
- ``We need upgrades everywhere on our football team. Overall, I think we addressed our needs."
- On kickers: ``I'm willing to use scholarships on guys who can change our field position."
- On having one spot still open: ``We have one slot where, if the situation arises that's out of the ordinary, we can capitalize on it."
- Anxious?: ``There are a lot of sleepless nights. It's stressful for the young men. It's stressful for the families. It's stressful for everybody. Sometimes, recruiting is about the last man standing. You have to work right down to the end. I'm anxious until I get the fax in."
- On Lemonier: ``We had a great hope for what Corey was going to be doing today. He had so many great choices out there. It could have gone either way. We fought until the very end. We weren't necessarily 100 percent sure. We had an idea. You never know how they're going to unfold. We had an idea."
- On Jeffrey Whitaker: ``He's a physical presence in the middle of the defense. As we try to build the defense from the ground up, the better you are on defense is directly correlated to how good you are on the front four. He brings a great deal of talent. He's exactly what we're looking for."
- On the "surprises": ``You have changes. It's volatile through the whole year. Who is the next guy? The next guy isn't always a down-the-line player. We go back to: Is he the right fit for Auburn?"
- Talking about Ladarious Phillips. ``He can play on the offensives side of the ball, he can play on the defensive side of the ball. That's one of those situation that popped up."
- On Trovon Reed: ``You talk about solid guys ... and guys being under pressure, he has been a rock. He would be one who, as solid as he was, it would have shocked me if he went in another direction. He was solid. A lot of guys were solid and never wavered."
- On BCW and the like: ``We talk about being creative and things we can create to attract student-athletes. We'll go back and we'll revisit this whole recruiting year. We'll troubleshoot what didn't go well and how we can fix it. We have to figure out a way to make next year's class better than this year's class."
- On Michael Dyer: "Rock. Solid rock -- from beginning to end. It's incredible what he brings to the table. His commitment to Auburn. He's one of the funnest players we're recruited. He played some practical jokes here at the end that we didn't appreciate. (laughs) He brings a rare ability to the backfield. He has a combination of power and speed."
- On Marcus Lattimore: ``We don't talk about the ones we didn't get."
- That's a wrap.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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