The Auburn Tigers recruiting class of 2013 has certainly had its ups and downs.
The high water mark was early in the fall, when the Tigers held commitments from three 5-star players (linebacker Reuben Foster, defensive ends Carl Lawson and Dee Liner), and a host of 4-stars.
Then, head coach Gene Chizik was fired, and the pieces began unraveling.
The first to go was Foster, who de-committed early last month after news of Chizik’s demise was known. Not long after, Lawson announced that he was considering other schools, while loosely still being committed to the Tigers. And now comes the news that Liner is officially ruling Auburn out of the running.
Liner, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is fresh off an official visit to the Alabama Crimson Tide, and wasted no time announcing he was re-opening up his recruitment. The day after he got back from Tuscaloosa, he called new Tigers coach Gus Malzahn and informed him of the news.
Liner had been a long time commit to Auburn. Up until recently, he had been committed to the Tigers since June of 2011.
The reason for his change of heart is easy to understand. He’d gotten incredibly close to Chizik and the coach who was recruiting him, Trooper Taylor, and didn’t feel that same connection with the new staff.
The loss of Taylor from the Tigers assistant coaching ranks has been devastating to the current class. Numerous commits have voiced their displeasure in the coaching change-up, and Taylor was the Tigers best recruiter. Several prospects have either de-committed or crossed the Tigers off their list because Taylor is no longer there. Even the mega-recruit Foster, upon his de-commitment announcement, had cited Taylor’s firing as a major reason for his change of mind in the Tigers.
So the 6’2” 275lb Liner is now officially back on the market. I wouldn’t expect Liner to make another announcement until National Signing Day, but all signs are pointing towards ‘Bama (who could be in the drivers seat for Foster too).
As always, the rich get richer.