A pair of redshirt-freshmen have elected to leave the Auburn football program with the intent to transfer, announced by Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn on Thursday morning.
"They've decided to move on," Malzahn said. "We wish them nothing but the best.”
Defensive back Marlon Character and defensive lineman Antwuan Jackson Jr. have not yet announced their intended destinations. The two defenders received high praise coming out of the high school ranks, along with significant recognition from their collegiate coaches.
Jackson Jr. was ranked 49th overall in the 2016 recruiting class, earning the Ellenwood, Ga. native a spot on the U.S. Army All-American team his senior year. The defensive tackle was expected to aid in the depth of a budding defensive line working in the wake of Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams’ departure. He recorded a sack at this year’s A-Day game.
"We feel like he is one of the best defensive linemen in the nation," Malzahn said after 2016’s National Signing Day. "We think he has a bright future and he's a fine young man."
Character made strides up the depth chart this spring, assuming a role at both the cornerback and safety position. The Atlanta native made a pair of tackles at A-Day.
"He's doing a good job," secondary coach Greg Brown said. "Marlon's got length, he'll compete, he's tough, he gets after it. We're excited about the progress that Marlon is making. He's making strides and he's got the right attitude and he's working hard at it.”
Character and Jackson serve as the sixth and seventh Tigers to transfer from the program since the conclusion of the 2016 season. The duo joins wide out Stanton Truitt, linebacker Cameron Toney, offensive lineman Deon Mix and quarterbacks Woody Barrett and Tyler Queen.