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Coach T-Will Talks Recruiting

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You’ve gotta love this guy and his style!

 

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What Travis Williams is looking for on the recruiting trail

By Brandon Marcello
 

AUBURN, Alabama — Travis Williams wants to sign four linebackers in Auburn's upcoming recruiting class.

But every position coach always wants an extra player that is not allotted by their boss, the head coach. Williams has a reason for wanting an additional player, and it's not just for selfish reasons and placing an extra body on the roster for emergency situations.

"It’s going to be three," Williams said recently outside the Montgomery Auburn Club. "What you run into is the 2016 year where you didn’t sign a guy. The young man who was here isn’t here anymore (3-star linebacker Tre' Threat transferred to Jacksonville State). That’s a whole year with no linebackers. You want to have at least 10 to 11 in your room. People say: Well, you only play with two. That’s true. Last year, Georgia, Alabama, LSU, A&M … that’s four teams that we played with three linebackers. You’re going to need ‘em. Then special teams. I’m not going to have Deshaun (Davis) on kickoff and then be quarterback on defense (last season). You can’t quarterback a defense when you just ran 100 mph. You have to have guys on special teams as well. And that’s when you can play guys to keep them happy. KJ Britt was on special teams the last two years — every last one of them. Chandler Wooten — two years. Now it’s time for those guys to shine (as starters)."

Auburn does not have a commitment yet at linebacker, but that could change soon. Four-star outside linebacker Trenton Simpson is trending toward Auburn, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions, and is scheduled to make a commitment to a school Friday.

The good news for Auburn after losing three senior linebackers from last season is that the Tigers do not have a senior linebacker on scholarship entering this season. The issue: there are only six scholarship linebackers, though walk-ons help bump that number near a dozen, just as Williams likes to see it in his meeting rooms during the season.

Williams understands the culture at Auburn as an alum, former All-SEC linebacker and now the Tigers' linebackers coach. He relates to players as good as any on campus. He often travels across the street from the Auburn Athletics Complex to play video games with his players.

He also has standards and expectations he never deviates from, and most of those are set by head coach Gus Malzahn, when he is on the recruiting trail.

"I'll be honest with you, you can't be around here slapping no girl and freaking getting domestic violence and disrespecting women. We're not taking that. That's coming from the top," Williams said. "But I'll take a kid that doesn't have a daddy at the house. He ain't even had a male figure at his house. Now, I'm not going to take a turd. But if you get a kid who is rough around the edges, I don't mind. Because I'm going to be the only butthole in the room.

"And then the culture of the room is going to get that particular player in line, you know what I'm saying? But I definitely look for great character kids, and you've got to have a skill set. But you can have a skill set and you go and look at this kid and say, 'You know what? He needs Auburn.' I needed Auburn. But you can't just be a kid that's disrespectful.

"Like, when I go speak at these clinics, we'll do Xs and Os, and I'll just talk about building the room. Everybody's talking about building a program. I'll talk about building a room, because your room is your program. Just buying into their culture. Like, who's your girlfriend? What's going on in your life? What do you do when you get into the dorms? Like, literally going over there and hanging out, just seeing what he's got going on. Not just seeing him when he comes to the complex. Taking him fishing. Going to the movies. Bring him over to the house — my wife likes to cook. All the little different things to just buy into their culture. And in return, they'll know, 'OK, this guy really cares about me.'

"But you'll take chances on kids. Everybody does. But that particular coach has to know what he can handle. Everybody just can't handle everything as a kid. But not disrespectful to women in any way. Drugs, all of that stuff. You can't bring that to Auburn if they're just off the chain like that."

 

 

Edited by ellitor
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Out of likes but thanks for sharing, @toddc! And props to Gus. I've questioned his sincerity in the past- ahem Jonathan Taylor- but no longer. TWill is his own, awesome dude, but this absolutely reflects on the man in charge. And it's evident. Our kids qualify. They by and large stay out of serious trouble. When they don't, they gone. I dig it. 

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T-Will just showing how it’s done with our lb verbal today!

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When Twill says he has allotted 3 LB's is that 3 LB's and a Buck or is that 2 LB's and a Buck?

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12 minutes ago, AuburnNTexas said:

When Twill says he has allotted 3 LB's is that 3 LB's and a Buck or is that 2 LB's and a Buck?

With the young talent we have, I don't see a big need to take 3 LB and a buck. I wouldn't turn down another stud LB if they want to get on board, but after Webb, I wouldn't push for another true LB.

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1 hour ago, bigbird said:

With the young talent we have, I don't see a big need to take 3 LB and a buck. I wouldn't turn down another stud LB if they want to get on board, but after Webb, I wouldn't push for another true LB.

I see you trying to goad Mikey into this! 😝 

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2 hours ago, AuburnNTexas said:

When Twill says he has allotted 3 LB's is that 3 LB's and a Buck or is that 2 LB's and a Buck?

3 true LBs. The buck is separate & is coached by CRG & Steele.

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4 hours ago, bigbird said:

With the young talent we have, I don't see a big need to take 3 LB and a buck. I wouldn't turn down another stud LB if they want to get on board, but after Webb, I wouldn't push for another true LB.

In arguing with Mikey I agree with you about the need for O-line because it is not just numbers but the quality of numbers. I kind of lean a little bit towards Mikey when it comes to LB's I realize that most of the time we play two LB's but one of the reasons I like LB's is they tend to also make great Special Teams players. So I would be happy to get 3 LB's and a buck this cycle.  

Now we need to finish out this class 1-3 more O-Line, 1 RB, 2-4 DB's depending on the quality of the DB's we can get and 3-4 D-line. That would still leave us with some room under the 25 

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1 minute ago, AuburnNTexas said:

In arguing with Mikey I agree with you about the need for O-line because it is not just numbers but the quality of numbers. I kind of lean a little bit towards Mikey when it comes to LB's I realize that most of the time we play two LB's but one of the reasons I like LB's is they tend to also make great Special Teams players. So I would be happy to get 3 LB's and a buck this cycle.  

Now we need to finish out this class 1-3 more O-Line, 1 RB, 2-4 DB's depending on the quality of the DB's we can get and 3-4 D-line. That would still leave us with some room under the 25 

Oh I agree. I was just saying a 3rd would be more of a luxury as opposed to a desperate need to sign. 

 

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3 hours ago, AuburnNTexas said:

That would still leave us with some room under the 25 

We'll have around 27 to 28 slots available, depending on late transfers or other unexpected events. I haven't really verified this time, but I believe we've now signed 22 in the class of 2019, which would mean we've got 25 + 3 to play with as of right now.

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