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Another Strong Hire By Chizik

By on January 23rd, 2012 in Football Comments Off

He’s buddies with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He was born in Barberton, Ohio, home of legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler. If lineage is an indicator of success, then Auburn has found its man in Scot Loeffler.

The man hired to run Auburn’s offense will not get the headlines that new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder got a few weeks back, but the choice by Gene Chizik may be every bit as brilliant.

Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr is certain Auburn found the right man.

“I’m delighted for Scot and think that he is a great fit for Auburn,” Carr said. “He’s a bright guy that has a great passion for the game. Not only is he an outstanding coach, but a great recruiter. He’s a great teacher, and there’s not a quarterback out there that wouldn’t enjoy playing for him.”

This off-season Loeffler’s name has been mentioned with almost every vacant offensive coordinator position in America. A few weeks back he was linked to Nick Saban and the opening at Alabama. Loeffler is so valued by Brady that he continues to work with the Super Bowl quarterback every off-season on mechanics.

There are two questions being asked today: What kind of offense will Loeffler run and what took Chizik so long to pull the trigger on the Temple offensive coordinator?

There’s no easy answer to the first question. Last season at Temple, his offense ran the ball more than 70 percent of the time. What’s not clear is whether that was by design or necessity.

What we do know is that he moved the Owl offense from 82nd nationally in points scored to 39th in one season. Temple went from being ranked 77th in rushing to 7th in 2011. His offense ranked 33rd in pass efficiency and 63rd in total offense. The bad news: Temple ranked 116th in passing.

Conventional wisdom says Auburn will run more of a hybrid offense, with a lean toward more of a pro-style attack. Chizik may have tipped his hand with the signing of Illinois fullback transfer Jay Prosch.

We may never know what took Chizik so long to come to a decision. One thing is certain; the wait has had an effect on this year’s recruiting class.

Sources say four-star wide receiver Ricardo Louis decommitted from Auburn on Wednesday after Chizik couldn’t give him a definitive answer on who he was hiring. Florida State used the vacancy to its advantage, swaying the Miami prep star to commit to the Seminoles.

Chizik is known to be a thorough evaluator, whether recruiting players or coaches. Something tells me he’s completely comfortable with the timeline on this hire. Loeffler looks to be worth the wait.

Sources say that in the end, it came down to four candidates: Loeffler; Baylor co-offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery; Rutgers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti; and Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell.

With National Signing Day a little more than a week away,247 Sports.com has Auburn’s class ranked 20th nationally.

The top five teams in the 247 Sports.com recruiting rankings look like this: (1) Alabama (2) Texas (3) Ohio State (4) Florida State (5) Michigan.

The top five teams in the SEC look this way: (1) Alabama (2) Florida (3) Georgia (4) Texas A&M (5) LSU.

Loeffler is expected to hit the ground running today.

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