By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala - As important as A-Day is for Auburn’s current football players, who are hoping to impress their coaches and earn playing time in the fall, it might be even more important for Auburn’s future players.
“I think it’s huge,” said Patrick Suddes, Auburn’s Director of Player Personnel. “For some of them, it’s going to be their first time on campus. Some of them, they’ve been here multiple times.”
For the prospects, fan support is another factor to consider when choosing their college destination, along with academics, facilities and relationships with coaches.
“We sell we’re the Auburn Family around here,” Suddes said. “Our coaching staff believes that. Our fan base believes that. The administration believes that. So we want these guys and parents of recruits to come here and meet their new family members. I think that’s huge.”
Suddes says A-Day makes an impression on prospective student-athletes, whether they’re on campus or watching from home.
“There’s no bigger statement you can make. Not only for the recruits who come here, but for the recruits who see it on TV,” Suddes said. “When that SEC Network comes on, and they see that the stadium is packed for basically a practice, a scrimmage. That shows the support that this fan base has for its football team.”
Suddes joined Auburn in February from Arizona State, where he served as assistant athletics director for recruiting. Auburn, the school and the community, has made an impression.
“There’s a reason that the town and the university are named the same,” he said. “There are few colleges that can say that. This town is based on Auburn University. That’s a huge selling point for us.”
Suddes may be new to the Plains, but he’s already familiar with Auburn’s signature characteristic.
“Auburn Family: that’s just not a slogan. That’s real,” he said. “And there’s no better way to show it than having a packed house at basically a practice.”
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer