With national signing day finished Auburn’s coaching staff has moved on to another phase of preparation for the 2015 football season. It’s a never-ending cycle and even though we are a long way from the start of the season it is still an important time for coaches.
There is really no offseason any more when it comes to recruiting. Right now the coaches are evaluating juniors and getting their recruiting board lined up for next year’s signee class.
You can be sure that the graduate assistant coaches and analysts are very busy checking out video of prospects across the country. Information on players they think will be a good fit for Auburn to recruit will be passed along to the assistant coaches for their evaluations on whether or not they are prospects the Tigers should get serious about checking out.
There is no telling how many hours of evaluation are necessary to get the coaching staff on the right track to sign the type of class that Auburn wants, but without a doubt it is a huge undertaking.
A lot of players the Tigers are going to recruit have already been identified, although there are always going to be late bloomers and prospects who have flown under the radar who the coaches will get seriously involved with later in the process.
After identifying the SEC-caliber prospects the next step is to get them to campus for unofficial visits and later in the year get as many as possible to Auburn for one of the summer football camps.
This is also the time of year when coaches get together and starting planing what they will be doing during spring practice, which in Auburn’s case is just a month away. The coaches will go over what they did last year and try to build on what worked well during the 2014 season and go back to the drawing board on what didn’t succeed.
In Auburn’s case there will probably be a lot more meeting and planning taking place with the defensive staff because Will Muschamp has taken over as the new coordinator with Travaris Robinson the new coach in the secondary and another newcomer, Lance Thompson, having the assignment of working with the linebackers.
This is the time of the year for big experiments or just trying to come up with a different twist like adding a little something here or there such as a play-action pass off of a successful running play.
While the coaches are in planning mode the players are working hard. Winter workouts are a time for the players to get bigger and stronger. It is equally important to the success of the team for the players to build the type of mental toughness they will need to help succeed when games get challenging in the fall.
Playing in the SEC it is a given that players have to arrive on the field each week with the physical tools to compete, but the mental part of the equation is important, too. There is no better time of the year to build mental toughness and leadership than during winter workouts, something that be can the difference between winning and losing in the fall.
This is also a time of the year when the coaches can get closer to their players and the players can get closer to their teammates without having to worry about preparing for this week’s opponent.
If college football teams do a great job of development during the offseason they can get an edge on the ones who don’t. Making sure you do everything you can to succeed is a big deal for a program like Auburn which has a goal of competing for conference and national championships. I don’t have any doubt that Gus Malzahn and his staff understand the importance of this time of year.
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