The 2017 season is little more than three months away but the Auburn Tigers will not have type of depth at two positions that they previously anticipated. On Thursday, head coach Gus Malzahn announced (via the school’s football website) that redshirt freshmen Marlon Character and Antwuan Jackson will be leaving the program via transfer.
Malzahn indicated that Character and Jackson “decided to move on” and that “we wish them nothing but the best.”
Character arrived as the No. 350 overall recruit in the class of 2016 (according to the 247Sports composite) and Jackson was much more highly coveted as a top-50 national prospect. Character looked to be on the depth chart at the cornerback spot for 2017 and beyond, while Jackson projected as a potential standout if everything came together.
However, AL.com brings word from Auburn assistant Rodney Garner (who recruited Jackson) and it appeared that effort was a question mark at the college level.
“Antwuan could be a good player. He still has to get a better grasp on the type of effort and execution it’s going to take to perform at this level. That’s been his biggest thing, the learning that, hey, it takes — you have to be willing to strain, you have to be willing to get uncomfortable to be able to be a good player. He has a tremendous skill set, he just has to embrace just turning it loose, taking the governor off and being able to play at a high level.”
Regardless, these losses could affect Auburn’s immediate depth, as well as the construction of the roster moving forward. It will also be interesting to see where both players land via transfer.