When the NFL Draft rolls around, college football programs do everything they can to promote the players they’ve produced for recruiting purposes. Obviously, it is a little trickier for a new staff, like the one Bryan Harsin has assembled at Auburn.
Harsin and company haven’t coached a game on the plains yet. He comes down from Boise State, and has compiled a pretty impressive roster of assistants around him as he looks to gear up for a very significant challenge in the SEC.
It certainly isn’t ridiculous for the program to promote the NFL stars that Auburn’s coaches have helped develop at previous stops. The fact that so many of the guys featured in a new graphic come from a major SEC rival—the Georgia Bulldogs—is pretty glaring.
Matthew Stafford, Todd Gurley, A.J. Green, and Isaiah Wynn are all among the players being promoted by Auburn, a school that they all faced while at UGA. It isn’t hard to see what Auburn is going for, but that hasn’t stopped the program from catching some heat for it.
None of which played for AU. This is an embarrassing graphic. Do much better
— Martin Starling (@Martin_Danger) May 3, 2021
Ouch, UGA fans are about to have fun with this 😫
— Matt Culver (Auburn Equestrian 8-1) (@matthew0054) May 3, 2021
Just noticed there are 4 Georgia guys on there 🤣
— lane weitz (@leweitz62) May 4, 2021
— Daniel (@ddxn87) May 4, 2021
Auburn’s new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is the main connection to the Dawgs. He’s a former UGA quarterback and longtime assistant under Mark Richt, starting as a GA in 1999. He rejoined the staff in 2001 as quarterbacks coach, and became the offensive coordinator in 2007, leading that offense until 2014 when he departed for the Colorado State head coaching job.
Offensive line coach Will Friend joined UGA’s staff in 2011, and added the run game coordinator title in 2013, before following Bobo to CSU.
Perhaps recruits will still appreciate their contributions to the impressive careers of guys like Stafford and Gurley, in which case the graphic will be a success, but it is not a huge surprise that Auburn fans aren’t amused by the program promoting the success that an annual opponent and rival has had in producing big-time NFL talent.