When Auburn hired Hugh Freeze, it wasn’t extremely surprising that they got some backlash for it. After all, he certainly does have a bit of a checkered past going back to his days at Ole Miss. That being said, when Lane Kiffin turned down the job, Auburn hired someone who they felt was going to not only be able to keep up with the rapidly changing offensive game in college football, but be able to compete in the SEC recruiting wise, something Bryan Harsin proved incapable of doing. Thus far, Hugh Freeze is passing this test with flying colors.
The latest recruiting victory for Freeze and his staff is flipping 4-star offensive tackle Tyler Johnson from Texas Tech to The Plains. Perhaps the most telling thing about the Freeze effect thus far, however, is what Johnson had to say when asked about why he chose to commit to Auburn.
“I can really trust this staff. I believe they’re going to do something big over here at Auburn University. That’s why I came over and visited. Coach Freeze is going to turn Auburn around. He’s very serious about business. Coming to Auburn, he’s going to turn it around.”
To see a big-time recruit with this kind of confidence in what Freeze is building in such a short time has to be extremely encouraging for Tiger fans. Johnson is not the only flip that Freeze’s staff has secured over the past week, either. He joins 4-star safety Sylvester Smith, who was committed to Tennessee, as well as 3-stars Stephen Johnson (DT, Arkansas), Colton Hood (DB, Michigan State), and Connor Lew (C, Miami) as recent flips to Auburn.
The latest commitment is 3-star QB Hank Brown, who was originally set to attend Liberty, but flipped to follow Freeze to Auburn. By all indications, Freeze and his staff are far from finished with the 2023 class as well. With all that being said, before he has even coached a single game, Freeze has done more for Auburn in less than a month on the recruiting trail than Bryan Harsin did in two years.