Auburn Tigers

Getty Images

Rimington watch list details list of returning centers

Leave a comment

It’s the dead time of the college football calendar, which means it’s time for this sport’s oldest, most antiquated tradition: watch lists.

First one in line is the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. And to help voters narrow down their choice for when voting picks up six months from now, the Rimington has helpfully provided this watch list of essentially every returning starting center in college football.

The 2017 list includes (deep breath):

– Aaron Mitchell, Fresno State
– Alan Knott, South Carolina
– Alac Eberle, Florida State
– Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic
– Asotui Eli, Hawaii
– Austin Doan, Central Michigan
– Austin Golson, Auburn
– Austin Schlottmann, TCU
– Billy Price, Ohio State
– Blaise Fountain, New Mexico
– Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
– Brad North, Northwestern
– Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
– Brendan Moore, Maryland
– Brian Allen, Michigan State
– Bryce Holland, Army
– Cameron Ruff, South Florida
– Chandler Miller, Tulsa
– Coleman Shelton, Washington
– Colton Prater, Texas A&M
– Danny Godloveske, Miami (Ohio)
– Dennis Edwards, Western Kentucky
– Drew Keyser, Memphis
– Erick Wren, Oklahoma
– Evan Brown, SMU
– Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
– Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
– Garrett McGhin, East Carolina
– Jake Bennett, Colorado State
– Jake Hanson, Oregon
– Jake Pruehs, Ohio
– James Daniels, Iowa
– James O’Hagan, Buffalo
– Jesse Burkett, Stanford
– John Keenoy, Western Michigan
– Jon Baker, Boston College
– Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
– Keoni Taylor, San Jose State
– LaVonne Gauthney, Akron
– Levi Brown, Marshall
– Luke Shively, Northern Illinois
– Mason Hampton, Boise State
– Matt Hennessy, Temple
– Mesa Ribordy, Kansas
– Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
– Nathan Puthoff, Kent State
– Nick Allegretti, Illinois
– Nick Clarke, Old Dominion
– Reid Najvar, Kansas State
– Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
– Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
– Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
– Sean Krepsz, Nevada
– Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
– Sumner Houston, Oregon State
– T.J. McCoy, Florida
– Tanner Thrift, Baylor
– Tejan Koroma, BYU
– Tim McAullife, Bowling Green
– Trey Martin, Rice
– Will Clapp, LSU
– Will Noble, Houston
– Zach Shackelford, Texas

Exhale.

Got all that?

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein claimed the honor last season.

Auburn’s John Franklin III may not be completely done playing QB after all

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Auburn quarterback-turned-wideout John Franklin III may not be completely done taking snaps behind center after all.

The Tigers’ new offensive coordinator tipped that the speedy receiver likely would be the best option to fill the team’s emergency quarterback spot in 2017 while speaking to AL.com during a meeting with a booster club over the weekend.

“I think he definitely could be (the emergency option), for sure,” Chip Lindsey told the site. “He’s done it his whole life, so I think he could definitely do that if we needed him to, for sure.”

Auburn suffered a host of injuries at the position last season, which prompted some extended playing time for Franklin as he appeared in all 13 games of the 2016 campaign and threw for 204 yards and a touchdown. He was moved to wide receiver during spring practice following the arrival of highly touted Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham and seems likely he’ll see the bulk of the action catching passes during the year instead of throwing them.

However, transfers out of the Plains have changed the equation a little bit at quarterback for Auburn. On top of former starter Sean White still recovering from a broken arm, redshirt freshman Woody Barrett decided to move to a JUCO and fellow backup Tyler Queen dropped all the way down to a Division II school this offseason. That leaves just Stidham and White with any experience at the position this year and true freshman Malik Willis behind them on the depth chart.

You can bet that Lindsey and head coach Gus Malzahn want to preserve Willis’ redshirt in 2017 so it certainly makes sense to have Franklin slot in behind the team’s unquestioned top two quarterbacks if either were to go down with an injury. Even if everybody stays healthy, it seems likely we’ll even get to see Franklin in a few Wildcat packages for the Tigers given his skillset so his days behind center don’t appear to be fully over just yet.

Reports: Incident with teammate triggered Marlon Character’s transfer from Auburn

Getty Images
1 Comment

Now we know a little more of the rest of the story.

Thursday, Auburn confirmed that Marlon Character Jr. was one of two redshirt freshmen Tigers who had decided to leave the football program. According to a report from 247Sports.com, the decision to transfer may not have necessarily been voluntary.

He was nudged to leave after an apparent incident with a teammate in recent weeks, two sources told AuburnUndercover over the span of the last two weeks.

A subsequent report from al.com indicated that Character had a heated on-campus argument with the unnamed teammate in the weeks leading up to the transfer. That player is still on the team.

No further details were divulged, and neither the team nor the player have addressed the speculation surrounding his departure.

“We wish them nothing but the best,” a portion of head coach Gus Malzahn‘s statement on the transfers of both Character and Antwuan Jackson Jr. According to the recruiting website, Jackson was not involved in the alleged incident that led to his teammate moving on.

A three-star 2016 recruit, Character took a redshirt as a true freshman last season. He had been expected to take on a more significant role this season after moving from safety to cornerback this past spring.

Houston the landing spot for Auburn transfer Deon Mix

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Houston, we have an addition.

Earlier this offseason, Deon Mix announced that he had decided to transfer out of the Auburn football program.  Thursday evening, the offensive lineman confirmed via Twitter that he will be continuing his collegiate playing career at Houston.

As a graduate transfer, Mix will be eligible to play for the Cougars in 2017, his final year of eligibility.

The 6-3, 301-pound lineman was a three-star 2013 recruit. He played in six games during his time with the Tigers, with three of those appearances coming last season.

Auburn officially adds two graduate transfers, loses two redshirt freshmen to transfer

Florida State athletics
Leave a comment

It was a day of comings and goings for the Auburn football program.

As had previously been reported, Auburn confirmed Thursday that Wilson Bell has transferred in Gus Malzahn‘s football team.  It was reported in early April that the offensive lineman would be leaving Florida State and was headed to The Plains.

Bell started all 13 games at right guard during the 2015 season.  He began the 2016 season as the starter as well, but lost the job a couple of games into the year.  Because of an injury, Bell regained the job with a month left in the season and started a total of five games in 2016.

Additionally, the program announced the signing of another transfer lineman, Casey Dunn.  A two-year starter at center for Jacksonville State, Dunn earned second-team All-American recognition at the FCS level last season.

Both linemen come to the Tigers as graduate transfers, making them eligible to play immediately this coming season.  This year will be the final seasons of eligibility for both players.

“I think they’re going to help us and make an immediate impact,” the head coach said in a portion of a statement.

Finally, Malzahn revealed that a pair of redshirt freshmen, defensive back Marlon Character Jr. and defensive lineman Antwuan Jackson Jr., have decided to transfer from the team.

Jackson was a four-star member of AU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country; the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 49 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only three players in the Tigers’ class that year were rated higher.

Both Jackson and Character, a three-star 2016 recruit, took redshirts as true freshmen last season, but were expected to contribute significantly this coming season.

“They’ve decided to move on,” Malzahn said. “We wish them nothing but the best.”