Yes, we’re giving you a wacky Wednesday and shifting things around. Today’s link article comes before bed, to give you plenty to check out on your phone before you try to close your eyes. There’s been a ton going on over the last day or so, and we’ll get you the cliffs notes on all of it here.
Obviously, Auburn’s defensive line depth took a hit with the departure of Byron Cowart yesterday. This was one of the weirder recruiting sagas in recent memory, as Cowart committed to Auburn and then we spent all day waiting and waiting and waiting for that letter of intent to come in. There were rumors that his coach was holding him hostage, or wouldn’t sign his letter, or that he wanted to really go to Florida, among others.
Either way, it wasn’t the best foot to start on with the arrival of Cowart to the Plains, and he struggled from day one to break into the playing rotation. There were rumors he wasn’t happy, and it all finally came to a head as he requested his release from scholarship at Auburn.
“Byron had to do what was best for him and his family, so I just hope nothing but the best for him moving forward.” https://t.co/1vPcmRwtoq— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) September 19, 2017
We wish him the best in his future endeavors, but it’s a troubling trend as Auburn’s now lost two high-profile players this week alone.
What Cowart’s absence means is that there are opportunities for younger players. Yes, Cowart played on the inside this year, sitting at second-string tackle, but it just means we’ll see more of certain guys on one of Auburn’s strongest units.
We mentioned the other high-profile exit earlier this week. This one wasn’t voluntary, but Sean White’s boot from the team creates an interesting dynamic at the quarterback position.
So, let’s address the elephant in the room. The offense hasn’t looked great. That’s a given, but there seem to be easily fixable issues, like, you know, PLAYING OUR BIG-PLAY THREATS.
In addition to hopefully seeing Kam Martin once again on the football field, we should see Kerryon Johnson as well. The Tiger offense could go from one guy getting carries to three prime tailbacks getting carries.
Auburn expects 1 player back from injury at Missouri, is "hopeful" about 2 others https://t.co/wPmEvSoRtM— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) September 20, 2017
It should pick things up with one of the sluggiest areas of the team’s output — the running game. Despite the 11 sacks at Clemson, the running game has done just about nothing in the past two games. Kam Pettway took 34 carries to break the 120 yard mark against Mercer, which is way too low on the production scale. So, is this a concern for the head coach? Yes.
And with Ian Shannon regressing a bit last weekend, we may go back to a kicking dynamic that we expected we may see a bit this year.
Now, as for Auburn’s new softball coach. He seems alright. A guy that grew up a big fan of Bo Jackson should fit in just fine in town, and he’s getting all of the right endorsements after taking the job.
But, with as great as Mickey Dean’s hiring sounds, the administration seems to be trying to separate itself from what may or may not have happened with the previous softball regime, without much resolution at all.
That’s all for tonight. War Eagle, and sleep tight.