Since Bruce Pearl cannot speak to recruits until August 24th, he’s getting some recruiting assistance from Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn.
Malzahn was a major success in his first season at Auburn as he led the Tigers to a SEC Title and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game and he’s helping Pearl in trying to bring immediate success to the men’s basketball program.
According to a story from Brandon Marcello of Alabama.com, Malzahn played a role in helping Auburn land junior college prospect Cinmeon Bowers and is also speaking with other Auburn basketball recruits on campus.
“Coach Malzahn has gone out of his way to engage prospects and to welcome them and share how excited he is about us being here and Auburn basketball,” Pearl said in the story. “I look forward to a time when I can do the same for all of our coaches.”
Malzahn going out of his way to host Bowers on an official visit is going to another level, however.
According to AuburnSports.com, Malzahn was a big factor on Bowers during the visit:
Since Pearl is prohibited from interacting with recruits due to his show-cause penalty, though, Bowers figured he wouldn’t speak with a head coach. He was wrong.
Coach Gus Malzahn volunteered to visit with Bowers and provide his view of what it means to live, study, train and flourish at Auburn University. The meeting made a difference; Bowers committed the next day and said his time with Malzahn brought some clarity to an otherwise cloudy situation.
Pearl and top assistant Tony Jones were astounded by Malzahn’s show of solidarity.
Since Pearl can only spend time working on campus to drum up support, or do radio interviews or build up next season’s non-conference schedule, he isn’t of much help in the actual recruiting process as he’s limited to his assistant coaches doing the work for him.
But thanks to a healthy relationship with a red-hot SEC football coach, Pearl has some major backing until he can recruit again on August 24th after serving his NCAA show-cause.
The SEC is still football country and for Pearl to work well with Malzahn could be a positive for both programs going forward.