The nation’s No. 1 high school football player is now considering becoming an Auburn Tiger. That’s a big deal for the early tenure of Gene Chizik.

Wide receiver Rueben Randle isn’t just considering a courtesy visit from Phenix City or Alexander City. His hometown of Bastrop, La., is 424 miles away, yet he’s still considering a visit to check out the Tigers. A team that just finished the season 5-7. Then went through a messy divorce with Tommy Tuberville. Then weathered a near nuclear meltdown when Chizik and his 5-19 head-coaching record were introduced.

The chances that Randle will choose to play for Auburn and with a quarterback who has either struggled in the SEC (Kodi Burns or Chris Todd) or has never taken a significant major college snap (Neil Caudle, Barrett Trotter or some undetermined 2009 signee) are still no better than 20-to-1. But that doesn’t diminish what his interest in the Tigers signifies.

The fact that Randle is even considering Auburn is proof that Chizik is off to a great start since arriving on the Plains, even if he isn’t successful in immediately swaying top recruits away from rivals Alabama, LSU or Georgia.