In the first bad off-field news of the season, AL.com was the first to report tonight that Elijah Daniel, a presumed starter at defensive end on the other side from Buck/DE Carl Lawson, has been arrested and "suspended indefinitely."
That's just not good news, at all. According to the AL.com report, "Daniel was booked on four theft of property charges ranging from first to third degree, including two third-degree charges, and four burglary charges ranging from second to third degree." Those are pretty serious charges facing Daniel.
Gus Malzahn is "aware" and has suspended Daniel indefinitely. With the charges against him, I have to say that I think Malzahn would be more than justified in removing Daniel from the team. The "suspended indefinitely" is probably just until more information comes down to clarify the situation. I honestly doubt Daniel sees the field in an Auburn uniform ever again.
Daniel was poised to play on the end and possibly at the tackle position after gaining weight over the last few months. He was likely going to be a key contributor in the defensive line rotation. He was a highly touted recruit who chose Auburn at essentially the last second over Ole Miss, but never fully realized his potential. He had every opportunity to step up last season when Lawson was injured, but in spite of tying for the team lead in QB hurries, he only tallied a single sack.
It's a tragic situation when someone with the potential to be a star does something this stupid. I really hope Daniel can turn his life around from this, but it's going to be a long road back for him wherever he ends up going forward, if anywhere. These are the kind of charges that could take him away from football forever depending on the results if he's found guilty. What a shame.