With college football finished until next season I am no different than most other Auburn fans when looking back at the 2016 season. It started off in frustration and ended in frustration. In the middle of it we had a good time. Now we have moved into a different part of the football calendar when recruiting and coaching changes move to the forefront.
Gus Malzahn had one vacancy on his staff to fill, which he did over the weekend. I am not sure the Tigers are going to have any more changes. That is Coach Malzahn’s call.
I will say I like the secondary coach he hired. Greg Brown, who the Tigers hired away from Missouri, has a history with Auburn coaches Rodney Garner and Kevin Steele. They know him and know that his track record as a coach is good one at both the collegiate and professional levels.
Coach Brown is going to have some good players coming back next season to work with in the secondary. They deserve to have a guy with the experience and the background he has got to make them better.
It will be hard to replace Wesley McGriff because he did a really great job last year working with the defensive backs, but I think the Tigers hired the right guy for their team. When I say team I am talking about the coaching staff and players.
Recruiting, which is front and center heading into national signing day on Feb. 1st, is always critical to future success. Auburn hasn’t been No. 1 in the nation in recruiting, but has consistently been among the top teams and when you do that it means you have a lot of good players on your roster to coach. Auburn is a great school to recruit to and there is no reason you shouldn’t have a good recruiting year.
As the cycle gets started again with a new year, including new players joining the team this month, before we know it signing day will be done and we will be moving into the next phase of a new football season when spring practice is here.
I think the Tigers have enough talent coming back to have a good football team in 2017 if they can get their quarterback position solidified. The transfer from Baylor (Jarrett Stidham) will have a real good opportunity this spring to show what he can do for his new team.
I am excited about the start of the spring sports. I have to put the softball team at the top of the list of what I am looking forward to watching this spring. It looks like Coach Clint Myers isn’t rebuilding after the most successful season in program history. Instead, it looks like he is reloading and filling in a few spots after finishing as the runnerup at last year’s College World Series.
If you read my column last year I wrote about how I have become a big fan of college softball. I love to watch them play and I love to watch them compete. Coach Myers and his staff have done an unbelievable job in putting Auburn in the top echelon of the sport. Expectations are high from the coaches and the same is true of the players, and that is the way it should be.