Chizik Focusing on 2010 Recruiting

Comments from Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Gene Chizik says he and his Auburn football coaching staff are working hard to catch up on the recruiting trail as they evaluate current high school juniors.

Auburn's new head coach says he likes his 2009 signee group and notes that he and his staff are in full speed ahead mode working on the 2010 class.

"Obviously, recruiting hasn't taken a backseat to anything, but still I think with us just finishing the staff yesterday, and things of that nature, we will be catching up probably for a little bit more time, but we will be caught up shortly," Chizik says.

The head coach notes that a priority for him in the coming weeks is to study video of the players already in the program. He says he hasn't had enough time to thoroughly evaluate the players he inherited.

"For me, watching a lot of tape is a mouthful because I love to watch tape," Chizik says. "I can watch a bunch of tape.

"If I had my wishes, I would have already watched the season over three or four times, but I haven't had a chance to do that yet, but it will get to that point," he adds, noting that he is trying to get a feel for what the current players can and cannot do.

"I have watched a lot of film on all of the recruits," he points out. "I know what we have coming in. I know what we have here, but I want to know it more, know it better, and that really gives us an idea and direction where we go from here as far as recruiting. You have to have a good sense of what you are bringing in and what you have got."

For 2010 the Auburn coach says there are two "glaring" needs. On offense it is linemen, with an emphasis in tackles, and on defense it is linebackers.

Chizik says his philosophy after taking the Auburn job in December was to not settle for guys he wasn't thrilled about as SEC level prospects. "I didn't want to settle for ones. I would rather just shoot for the ones we really want and if we don't get them let's start on an even playing field and go get them next year. That is more where we were.

"I wasn't disappointed with any part of the signing class, but there is always, in any signing class, things you wish you could have been stronger at, recruited better or whatnot. The ones we got are the ones we are happy with I can tell you that."

Chizik says the plan is to use seven assistant coaches to recruit prospects in the state of Alabama. "This state has great football," he explains. "We don't want to miss one of them. We want to be in the game with every one of them we need to be in the game with, and we don't want guys to be spread too thin. We don't want to send guys all of the way out here when we have guys in our own backyard who can do the same thing.

"I think we have just got to be really thorough," he adds. "You have to have a starting point and a home base. This state will be it and after that we will move outside the state. We have got to make sure we capture what we need to capture in the state."

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