The players left over from the 2015 season haven’t had a whole lot to reflect on. The offseason departure of key coaches including now South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp didn’t show a whole lot of promise, even with key hires like new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and offensive line coach Herb Hand. But the roster for the 2016 season may possibly become lighter.
Four Auburn players were reportedly arrested Saturday night on marijuana possession, all Sophomores. DE Byron Cowart, WR Ryan Davis and defensive backs Carlton Davis III and Jeremiah Dinson were all booked on second degree possession, which is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama. Punishment includes one year in jail and a $6,000 fine under Alabama law.
The most productive player out of the four was Davis III, who led the team in interceptions last season with three. He was also sixth on the team with 56 total tackles. It leaves Senior leader Johnathan Ford without help, as the other four top tacklers including Kris Frost and Blake Countess have moved on to the NFL, leaving Senior LB Justin Garrett to take over interception duties.
Cowart is also supposed to be a promising star on the defensive side. He played only eight games last season, and was the number one player in his position, including third in the country overall in 2015. This was an opportunity to showcase his talents under Steele.
The tackling and interception department may have taken a huge hit in the near future. All the reshuffling of the staff and quarterbacks in the offseason is troubling enough. It’s one hit Gus Malzahn can’t afford to take, as this could be his do or die season after high expectations last time around. If Malzahn is forced to dismiss these four players, it will most definitely make for a long offseason.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law