Initially, there was no known reason for one of the top recruits in the Class of 2015 left his original college football home. Not long after, the window of insight was cracked a bit.
Tuesday, Byron Cowart was granted a release from his Auburn scholarship, one day after requesting it from the football program. In an interview with al.com, the defensive lineman revealed that his mother in Florida is going through an unspecified health situation and, as an only child, he wanted to be closer to her to help her through it.
Additionally, he acknowledged that, yes, his playing time, or lack thereof, played a role in his decision to leave The Plains.
“I’m happy with my decision and I know that this ain’t it for me,” Cowart told the website. “My main reason was my mother’s health is more important. Me being an only child, got to get back to home to her. Plus I already wasn’t playing enough and contributing to the team.”
In a separate interview with 247Sports.com, Cowart also acknowledged that he has twice previously considered leaving the Tigers, the last coming this past summer.
Cowart also indicated that, very soon, he will be starting up classes nearer his home in Seffner, Fla., presumably at a junior or community college. After that, he’ll decide where to continue his collegiate playing career at the FBS level.
“I’ll see what options I have and what the NCAA allows me to do,” the junior lineman told al.com. “This isn’t over for me and this definitely is not the end of my college career. … I can guarantee you football is not over for me. I still love the game, I love everything about football.”
A consensus five-star signee, Cowart was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 while 247Sports.com had Florida product as the No. 3 player overall on its composite board. In 26 career games, Cowart was credited with 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He was one of four Tigers arrested for marijuana possession in May of last year.
This past spring, Cowart was moved from end to tackle in an attempt to jumpstart his career. In three games at his new position this season, he had three tackles and half a tackle for loss in three games.