On the Road Again: AU Coaches to See Recruits

Several Auburn football coaches plan to visit with Auburn's recruits.

Auburn, Ala.--After a meeting with associate athletic director Tim Jackson on Friday, some of Tommy Tuberville's former assistant coaches hit the recruiting trail Friday to make visits with prospects.

Defensive line coach Don Dunn, a member of Tuberville's staff since his first year as a head coach at Ole Miss, told Inside the Auburn Tigers, "We met with Tim and felt like it was in the best interest of everybody, especially Auburn, to go out there and make home visits, school visits and be in contact with all of our commitments, and even some of the kids who are uncommitted and high priority recruits.

"In the state it is important for us to keep our relations going with high school coaches," Dunn added. "It is important to assure this kids that Auburn University is a great place. You don't really go to a college because of a coach. I know that is important, but there are so many things involved.

"It is important that we meet with the players, the coaches, the parents and the guardians to reassure and ask them to wait and see what happens because you can't sign until February. You are going to have options, but go ahead and be sure Auburn is still one of the options and trust in the administration and what they are going to do (in hiring a new head coach).

"I am going to tell them, ‘Heck, we might get a guy you really, really like and are excited about being your head coach.' The main thing we are going to tell them is to keep their options open and give Auburn a chance.

"We are excited about talking to the prospects," Dunn added. "It is the right thing to do."

Other assistants that hit the recruiting trail include linebacker James Willis, defensive ends coach Terry Price and receiver coach Greg Knox. Offensive line coach Hugh Nall cleaned out his office on Thursday and won't be recruiting for Auburn.

Coach Terry Price has been at Auburn since the 1999 season.

Running backs and special teams coach Eddie Gran said he wasn't plan to go on the road, but changed his mind later on Friday.

Defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads and QB coach and interim offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger met with Jackson on Friday and also agreed to help with recruiting.

Rhoads, who was gathering his personal items from his office on Friday afternoon, said he is willing to go on the road to meet with recruits if he is needed, but noted that because of his duties as a coordinator he didn't have specific recruits he was assigned to stay in touch with this year.

Willis said, "It is very important for us to go see the players get in front of them and talk to them about Auburn." The former Auburn player added, "I know they have to have doubts. We need to let them know how important they are to us."

James Willis was a star linebacker for the Tigers.

Willis noted that with his Auburn ties it is important for him to do a good job and he said he believes other coaches going on the road feel the same way. "A lot of these guys have been at Auburn a long time and feel the same way about Auburn as I do. It is very important to us to do a good job."

Asked what he plans to tell recruits, Willis said, "I am going to tell them they fell in love with Auburn University for some reason whether it is the coaches or the university. I think most of it is the university."

Willis was in Birmingham for the Super 6 state football championship games at Legion Field.

Defensive ends coach Terry Price is also hitting the road. "I think it is very, very important that we are going to try to keep the continuity with the players who are currently committed to our school.

"I am looking forward to getting back on the road and trying to continue relations with this kid and make sure that they understand that Auburn is a special place and it is the best place for them to go to school," said Price, like Dunn and original member of Tuberville's staff at Ole Miss and Auburn. "We want to keep that word in their head and communicate with their families also."

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