As speculation mounts about his future as head coach of the Auburn football team, Brian Hassing sees Monday as the start of any other bye week.
Harsin stopped in Birmingham and Mobile on Monday to visit key recruits and give two presentations. He was (apparently) speaking at the Monday Morning Quarterbacks Club in Birmingham before eating at the 1st & 10 Club in Mobile.
Across all sites, Hassing’s message is the same: As long as he has the job, he will do his best as Auburn’s head coach. After a 48-34 loss to Ole Miss took the Tigers to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the SEC, rumors that he might be fired on Sunday apparently didn’t materialize.
“That’s one thing I’ve learned while coaching — you focus on the task at hand,” Harsin said ahead of his Mobile debut. “You focus on what’s in front of you. I’ve been undefeated for years, people think you’re the worst, you don’t win enough, you really can’t control these things. You can control how you perform every day. Come on me That said, the best model I’ve ever learned is your day-to-day performance.
“…if you really start focusing on the important things, you try to focus on it. It’s really a daily thing. For me, it’s just something I’ve been able to adopt over time. Stuff. That really helped me and that’s what I preach to our players and coaches: All you can do is control what’s in front of you. That’s exactly what we’re doing. …We Will take advantage of being here, focus on getting us to be the best we can be, and take advantage of our time in Mobile and throughout Alabama.”
Harsin, a late substitute at the mobile station for assistant head coach Zac Etheridge, is a scheduled speaker at the 1st & 10 Club on Friday morning. But earlier that afternoon, club officials announced Hassing would be at Moe’s Original BBQ in downtown Mobile instead of Etheridge.
Hassing said the schedule change was just to give him another opportunity to speak directly to Auburn’s fan base. And since he’s going to be recruiting in town anyway, it’s an easy switch to make.
“Coach Etheridge is fantastic, he’s a great ambassador for our program,” Hasin said. “But we don’t practice until (Tuesday). We have training on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then the players will have the opportunity to rest on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We’ll come back on Sunday. So for me, take advantage of that , to go to as many places as possible, that’s the real idea of having the opportunity to come here to speak and be involved and use the time.”
Auburn’s 2023 recruiting class is near the bottom of the SEC’s rankings, though the Tigers did gain a little momentum with the addition of Florida’s four-star high school offensive lineman Clare Verdin, who promised Friday. Auburn’s three commitments — Montgomery Catholic running back Jeremiah Cobb, Auburn High offensive lineman Bradyn Joiner and Loachapoka defensive back JC Hart — were named Monday for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. Bama, the team will be held on December 18th. 10 is moving.
On Monday, Harsin went to three Mobile-area high schools, stopping at Mobile Christian, Saraland and Vigor. The face-to-face visits are meant to build trust with potential recruits, he said.
“Those guys, they’re focused on their development,” Hassing said. “They’re focused on their season. They have a lot of other things to worry about and when they talk to our coaches, they listen to our coaches. I think that’s the biggest thing. They trust our coaches. They There’s a relationship with them. They all see what we’re doing because they have the opportunity to talk a lot with our people. So they know where we are, what we’re struggling with, what we’re doing well, how they’re adapting.
“At the end of the day, I think every player knows, ‘Look, I want to be where I fit. I want to be where I feel is really good for me, and I want to be a part of that for many years. And you want to have confidence And people who know they can come in and make a difference as well. … And we have a lot of really good players who can do that.”
Auburn will perform next in October. A home game against Arkansas on the 29th, a game announced Monday will begin at 11 a.m. on the SEC network.