The Plainsman caught up with coach Dye about his final recruiting class, his thoughts on the current state of recruiting and where he sees Auburn football in the future.
Q: On the 1992 football season.
A: Well it wasn’t a very fun season for me because I was in the process of determining whether I was going to retire or continue to coach and I knew we weren’t a bad football team in ’92, we just lost a bunch of close games. We had close games with everybody we played, but everybody (on the team) were freshman and sophomores.
Q: On the notoriety of the starting players on the 1992 football team.
A: I think Alabama offered two of those starting 22 scholarships. They were basically juniors and sophomores. There were a few seniors on that team, but mostly juniors and sophomores.
Q: After the 1993 season, where you upset you didn’t have the opportunity to be a part of a team you recruited?
A: No, I was just happy for them. They were a special group of kids and still are.
Q: The 1991 recruiting class was filled with offensive lineman, was that a particular emphasis that season?
A: We always focused on lineman, offense and defense. I always judged my recruiting classes on what kind of interior lineman we had and when you recruit big offensive lineman, it goes hand in hand with tailbacks who want to run harder. There’s a lot more skill players than there are offensive and defensive lineman numbers wise out there to recruit.
Q: How does it feel when you don’t get all the recruits you go after?
A: You’re not going to get them all. You get close to them and it hurts, but you get some good ones too. Recruiting is a lot different now than it was. There’s so much more technology. I think it’s unfair and unfortunate that these high school kids go through what they go through. Now, they probably like it, but it’s not good for them.
Q: On Auburn’s recruiting classes compared to other SEC schools.
A: In Auburn, we’re not going to out recruit ever– Florida, Georgia, Alabama, LSU– they’re going to get great players every year if they do a good job, and they’re doing a good job. But we can get good kids, good players who want to come to Auburn over a five-year period of time and compete with anybody in the nation.
Q: On the current status of Auburn’s football team.
A: Gene (Chizik) has done, in my opinion, as good a job coaching two eight-win seasons as he did during the national championship. Everything is in place to be real good next year. I think we’ll be a lot better this year and I think we’ll probably surprise some folks, but next year we’re going to be a surprise.