John Reed-US PRESSWIRE
Jimmy Hutchinson, the nation's No. 1 punter, will wait a year before joining the Auburn football team.
Jimmy Hutchinson, who is the nation's top-rated punter in 247Sports's composite rankings, will grayshirt this season, according to Auburn Undercover. The decision was reportedly made several weeks ago.
There were rumors flying around Twitter and the message boards a few weeks back that Hutchinson had decommitted from the Tigers, but they were never confirmed. It's probable that whatever news was being leaked was actually regarding Hutchinson's grayshirt.
Hutchinson will sign with Auburn in 2014 and enroll early, according to Auburn Sports.
Hutchinson has been committed to Auburn for nearly a year, making his pledge on Feb. 21, 2012. He also considered an offer from UCLA and had interest in Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Purdue.
With Hutchinson grayshirting, it seems to be an indication that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is trying work in some room for an extra commitment in the Class of 2013. Who that extra commitment might be is anyone's guess.
This grayshirt just goes to show that college football recruiting is a business, and if Malzahn needs to free up some room for an unexpected commit, someone has to lose their spot. Still, Auburn fans have criticized Alabama head coach Nick Saban for overusing the practice for years, and it doesn't feel good to hear this news.
Hopefully, Hutchinson will maintain high spirits and rejoin the Tigers next year. But if he doesn't we can't really blame him.