What was then a new Auburn coaching staff drew state-wide, regional and even national recruiting attention with a five-day tour around the state of Alabama in limos going to high schools that feature outstanding football prospects.
Even though it was during a non-contact period for recruiting, the prospects saw the Auburn coaches who stopped in to say hello to the high school coaches and administrators at each stop of the trip that started in Mobile and worked its way north from there.
Auburn's coaches pose in front a limo during the Tiger Prowl. From left to right are Gus Malzahn, Phillip Lolley, Trooper Taylor, Jay Boulware, Curtis Luper, Tommy Thigpen and Ted Roof.
Coach Gene Chizik's staff followed the Tiger Prowl with an invitation-only event they called the Big Cat Weekend that brought around two dozen bluechip prospects to campus for a casual, get-to-know each other event that included meals, games and other activities.
"No question about it the Tiger Prowl and Big Cat were successful," Luper tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "It got us a lot of attention at a time of the year when there is not a lot going on.
"It was after March Madness and before the NBA finals," he notes. "There was a lull there. Baseball had just started so there wasn't much to talk about so people talked about Auburn football, they talked about the Tiger Prowl and they talked about Big Cat. You can see with the kids we signed, a lot of them are products of the Big Cat and the Tiger Prowl."
With 27 signees added on Wednesday to go with five early signees who are already enrolled, the Tigers have a class ranked among the best in the nation. However, Luper says the Auburn coaches are still in attack mode on the recruiting front.
"You could say we are excited about the players we signed, but we aren't content," he notes. "We are already working on doing it better for 2011."
Although the ink was barely dry on the 2010 prospects signing scholarships, evidence that the Tiger coaches are looking ahead was evident on Thursday when Auburn picked up its first verbal commitment for the 2011 class from Izauea Lanier from East Mississippi Community College.