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Auburn extends offer to talented WR Caullin Lacy

Taylor Jones
~2 minutes

No matter if it is from high school or the transfer portal, it is obvious that Auburn is looking to stock up on solid receivers for the 2024 season and beyond.

In addition to the four wide receiver commitments that they have received from the 2024 recruiting class, Auburn has offered four wide receivers who currently occupy the transfer portal with the most recent offer going to South Alabama receiver Caullin Lacy.

Lacy was South Alabama’s leading receiver this season after hauling in 91 catches for 1,316 yards and seven touchdowns. He built on last season’s success, where he caught 65 passes for 813 yards and six scores for the Jaguars.

Lacy has not followed the path of many others in the transfer portal, as he has not yet posted his offers on his X (formerly Twitter) account. However, he is receiving interest from Power Five programs such as Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Oregon according to On3’s Pete Nakos ($).

So far, portal wide receivers who have earned an Auburn offer include Vanderbilt’s Will Sheppard, Purdue’s Deion Burks, and Georgia State’s Robert Lewis. The current transfer portal window remains open until Jan. 2.

Contact/Follow us @TheAuburnWire on  X (Twitter), and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Auburn news, notes, and opinions. You can also follow Taylor on Twitter @TaylorJones__

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Hugh Freeze is currently with five-star safety KJ Bolden for an in-home visit

Andrew Stefaniak
~2 minutes

There has been steam that Auburn has a chance to flip Florida State commit KJ Bolden over these past few days. 

Bolden was in Auburn on Monday and had this to say to Adam Gorney of Rivals about what was discussed at the visit, "Just how they could utilize me and what I would add to this class. At this point, I'm still committed to FSU." 

Coach Freeze is now in Bolden's home today for an in-home visit. 

It's hard to think there isn't a real shot that Auburn could flip the five-star safety, as he has spent a ton of time over this past week visiting and talking with Coach Freeze. 

If Coach Freeze was able to get the job done and flip Bolden, this class would be one of Auburn's best in a very long time. 

The best part about Hugh Freeze's recruiting style is that even if a player is committed to another school, he will push after them hard. This led to Keldric Faulk flipping in the 2023 class plus Perry Thompson and Cam Coleman in the 2024 class.

When Auburn hired Hugh Freeze, Tiger fans knew they were getting a good recruiter, but no one could have expected this.  

Coach Freeze doesn't sleep. All he does is recruit, and that is going to get Auburn back among the big dogs of the college football world. 

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Auburn tight end Tyler Fromm becomes 7th Tiger to enter the transfer portal

Published: Dec. 06, 2023, 2:32 p.m.
~2 minutes

Tyler Fromm vs. Ole Miss

Tyler Fromm (85) running the ball. Auburn Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU AthleticsTodd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Auburn tight end Tyler Fromm has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to On3 and 247Sports.

He is the seventh Auburn player to enter the portal after wide receivers Omari Kelley, Malcolm Johnson Jr. and Jyaire Shorter, defensive lineman Stephen Johnson and Enyce Sledge as well as jack linebacker Stephen Sings V.

Fromm redshirted the 2019 season, his freshman year, and played one game in 2020. He then went on to play in all 37 games over the following three seasons.

He caught 14 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown during his time at Auburn. The touchdown was on the receiving end of a highlight-reel play from former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix escaping multiple sacks against LSU in 2021.

Fromm has one year, his sixth season, of eligibility remaining.

Auburn has five tight ends expected to be on next season’s roster, including team captain Luke Deal who already announced he will be returning for a sixth season as well as starting tight end Rivaldo Fairweather who led Auburn in receiving this season.

Matt Cohen covers Auburn sports for AL.com. You can follow him on X at @Matt_Cohen_ or email him at mcohen@al.com

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Could Hugh Freeze and Auburn flip another 5-star in FSU commit KJ Bolden?

Published: Dec. 06, 2023, 12:13 p.m.
2–3 minutes

With Dec. 20th’s Early Signing Day quickly approaching, Hugh Freeze and Auburn’s coaching staff are working tirelessly to put a bow on the Tigers’ already-impressive 2024 recruiting class.

After flipping 5-star wide receiver Cam Coleman away from Texas A&M in a massive recruiting win last week, Freeze has been relentless in his efforts to sway another 5-star in safety KJ Bolden, who has been committed to Mike Norvell and the Florida State Seminoles since Aug. 5.

Bolden ranks as the No. 1 safety in the nation and the third-best recruit out of the state of Georgia, according to 247Sports.

On3′s Jeffrey Lee reported that Bolden visited The Plains Monday, which left social media buzzing about Auburn’s push for the blue-chip defensive back down the stretch.

Even players currently on Auburn’s roster began lobbying for the 5-star Peach State safety.

On Tuesday, Bolden and his family were paid a visit by Florida State assistant coaches.

Not to be outdone, however, Freeze took the trip to Buford, Ga. on Wednesday afternoon to visit Bolden, making for the pair’s second meeting in three days.

From the sounds of it, Bolden’s recruitment might be all but over as Auburn continues its efforts to flip him away from Florida State, while also fending off Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs, who have also been players in Bolden’s recruiting process.

Should Freeze and the Tigers manage to win Bolden’s commitment, Auburn will have flipped commits away from Georgia in Demarcus Riddick, Alabama in Perry Thompson, Texas A&M in Cam Coleman and Florida State in Bolden.

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Jamonta Waller earns Mr. Football honors - WXXV News 25

Jevan McCoskey

Jamonta Waller is turning into a household name, even outside the state of Mississippi. On Tuesday, the Mississippi star was recognized as one of the best football players in the state, winning the 6A Mr. Football award.

There is no secret as to why Waller was awarded with Mississippi’s top individual honor for high

school football players. The 6-foot-2, 22-pound Picayune Maroon Tide athlete was a force on both sides of the ball. It was on defense where Waller shined the brightest. In his senior season he recorded 56 total tackles including 9 sacks, 19 total tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and a blocked punt. Waller will continue his academic and athletic career at Auburn University starting next spring.

Edited by aubiefifty
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O’Gara: My favorite fits for these 10 Power 5 quarterbacks in the transfer portal

Connor O'Gara | 1 day ago
8–11 minutes

Man, it’s loaded.

The transfer portal already looks like it’ll have its deepest quarterback class to date. It makes sense. Look at the Heisman Trophy finalists. All 3 quarterbacks are former transfers who needed fresh starts to get to New York. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of the following players ended up on that list in 2024.

This feels like a good time to map out a fit for some coveted portal guys. And to be clear, this isn’t a prediction. My “favorite fits” are based on where I’d like to see them end up.

So, here are my favorite fits for these 10 transfer portal signal-callers:

Dillon Gabriel

Favorite fit — Mississippi State

This one is obvious. Following Jeff Lebby to Starkville would give Gabriel an opportunity to face elite defenses and help his NFL Draft stock in his final year of eligibility. There’s also the possibility that Gabriel could deviate from staying in the same system and he could seek out a place like Oregon, where offensive coordinator Will Stein worked wonders with Bo Nix. But given Mississippi State’s quarterback needs in Year 1 with Lebby, that seems like the most logical fit after having success together at 2 different schools.

Cam Ward

Favorite fit — Ohio State

I’ll fight anyone who says Ryan Day is no longer an elite offensive mind. The opportunity to play in Columbus with an always-loaded group of skill-players has to be enticing for the Washington State transfer. With Kyle McCord in the transfer portal, it’s possible that Day and Co. transition to true freshman Air Noland, but I have my doubts that Day wants to get over the Michigan hurdle by putting all of his eggs in the basket of a true freshman. Ward’s skill set would be an ideal way for Day to bridge the gap. If not Ohio State, I’d love to see Ward play in a Hugh Freeze offense at Auburn.

Riley Leonard

Favorite fit — Notre Dame

It seems like it’s only a matter of time before this is announced. Replacing Sam Hartman would be a logical fit, given the ACC-to-Notre Dame transfer portal connection. Leonard’s decision to enter the portal was a done deal when Mike Elko left Duke for Texas A&M. Who would Leonard and the Irish face in Week 1, you ask? Elko and his new team, Texas A&M. Sign me up for that.

Dante Moore

Favorite fit — USC

I’m tempted to say Michigan here, but given the uncertain status of Jim Harbaugh’s future in Ann Arbor, that’s a tough one to project. Instead, Moore going to play for the coach who turns 5-star quarterbacks into stars makes the most sense. Moore didn’t exactly have a freshman season as Caleb Williams did at Oklahoma in 2021, but there’d still be plenty for Riley to work with, especially at a place that’ll be active in landing established skill players via the portal. If Riley doesn’t land Will Howard, that’d make a ton of sense.

Speaking of Howard …

Will Howard

Favorite fit — Auburn

If one of these coveted transfer quarterbacks doesn’t end up at Auburn, I’ll be stunned. The chance to work with Hugh Freeze would make a ton of sense, especially if he promises not to mess around with a 2-quarterback system for the majority of the season. Howard has plenty of potential suitors, so this is by no means a prediction. USC would probably be my guess, considering Lincoln Riley reportedly flew to Kansas State to meet with Howard. That’d be an awfully tough person to say “no” to. But I’d love to see the mobile Howard go to a place like Auburn, where the bar to meet is much lower than what he’d have replacing Caleb Williams at USC.

DJ Uiagalelei

Favorite fit — NC State

If not for fellow Oregon State transfer Aidan Chiles being projected to follow Jonathan Smith to Michigan State, I would’ve had Uiagalelei doing the same thing. But let’s instead go with NC State, which quietly had an excellent late-season turnaround with transfer quarterback Brennan Armstrong. Uiagalelei can go back to the ACC, get a reunion against Clemson and continue to resurrect his career after a standout season in Corvallis. If not there, why not replace Jordan Travis at Florida State? That  also would make a ton of sense after an unimpressive showing by Travis’ backups in those make-or-break games down the stretch.

Tyler Van Dyke

Favorite fit — Louisville

I think Van Dyke needs to go to a place with an elite schemer. The reads he needs to make still aren’t there, but the physical ability is impressive. Despite what the ACC Championship suggested, Jeff Brohm can scheme at a high level. He’s worked with plenty of quarterbacks who have put up big numbers in his system, which had much more balance this past year. Van Dyke could stay in the conference that he’s game-planned for throughout his career, and he could do so for a program with a bright future under Brohm. If not Louisville, I’d be interested to see if Jeff Lebby would be a nice fit for TVD if the Gabriel reunion doesn’t happen at Mississippi State.

Kyle McCord

Favorite fit — Oregon

I desperately want one of these portal signal-callers to go play for Will Stein and run that Oregon offense. I know that there’s plenty of intrigue about Ty Thompson, and perhaps we’ll see him get some run in the bowl game. But I wonder how many teams like Oregon opt for portal options with reps instead of finding an in-house quarterback replacement. McCord would get to — as weird as it sounds — stay in the Big Ten at Oregon, and he’d get to work with perhaps an even better offensive line than what he had at Ohio State. Of course, he won’t have a Marvin Harrison Jr. no matter where he ends up. He’d still have some extremely favorable surroundings in Eugene.

Will Rogers

Favorite fit — Washington

I know, I know. That’d be quite the landing spot for a guy who looked lost away from the Air Raid offense. Once upon a time, Michael Penix Jr. looked lost away from former Indiana OC Kalen DeBoer. Then he reunited with him at Washington and the rest is history. What’s clear is that Rogers needs to play in a pass-happy offense with an elite schemer. He’d have that in spades with DeBoer and Ryan Grubb in Seattle. Washington already recruited a skill player (RB Dillon Johnson) to leave the Mike Leach Air Raid, and it paid off in a big way. Obviously, Rogers would be in a different spot at quarterback, and he doesn’t throw the deep ball at Penix’s level. To be fair, nobody in the portal does. But Rogers could execute that pass-happy offense and elevate the Huskies’ offensive floor in their inaugural Big Ten season.

Brock Vandagriff

Favorite fit — Kentucky

Man, this would be awesome. Vandagriff has a ton of Will Levis in him. Both are built like tanks that seem to crave contact as mobile quarterbacks, yet both have cannons for arms. UK would be the perfect landing spot with the offense that Liam Coen would like to run, much like we saw in 2021 when he led the Cats to their best offense in 14 years. No, it didn’t work out with fellow transfer Devin Leary for the majority of the 2023 season. Too often, it felt like UK lacked a signal-caller who could make something out of nothing. But Vandagriff can be that guy. Yes, it’s risky to put that much faith in a guy who has never started a college game, but if he gets a full offseason of reps after spending 3 years battling the speed of that Georgia defense, look out. Vandagriff can be a star in the SEC, where he spent 3 years learning opposing game plans, 2 of which were alongside Todd Monken.

Let’s also remember that Vandagriff would also have 2 years of eligibility left, which we’re seeing is an ideal model to follow. There’s no doubt that he’d be loved in Lexington.

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PMARSHONAU A half century of changing times in college football

Phillip Marshall
7–9 minutes

Anyone who has been close to college football for as long as I have has witnessed massive changes, some good and some not so good. The game on the field is unquestionably better today than it has ever been. Players are bigger, stronger, faster, better trained, better fed and better-taught.

Following are some of the significant changes I have seen since I saw my first college football game in 1957 and covered my first college football game as a reporter in 1969.



Until the early 1980s, blockers were not allowed to use their hands. Linemen had to come off the ball with their hands against their chests. If they didn’t, they would be called for illegal use of hands, a 5-yard penalty, or holding, a 15-yard penalty. There were no 10-yard penalties.

Can you imagine offensive tackles trying to block today’s edge rushers without using their hands? It would be open season on quarterbacks.


In college football, pass interference is either 15 yards or at the spot of the foul if the pass is less than 15 yards. In the NFL, it is a spot foul.

How many people realize that until the late 1970s, it was the opposite? What is now the NFL rule was the college rule. What is now the college rule was the NFL rule.


For a long time, all it took to qualify academically was an overall C average and a high school diploma. There was no core curriculum requirement. It didn’t take much to be eligible. An A in physical education or in whatever class the coach taught counted the same as an A in calculus.

That started to change in the 1980s when Proposition 48 was passed. There were qualifiers and partial qualifiers. In the years since, high schools have gotten better at making sure potential prospects get what they need to be eligible.


Before there was a national signing day in December, there was an SEC signing day. SEC programs signed players to conference letter-of-intent. Prospects who signed could not sign with other SEC schools, but they could still sign anywhere else. Somewhere along the way, someone figured out that they were making it easy for programs outside the SEC to identify their prospects and did away with the conference signing day.


Even today, much is made of Alabama winning the 1972 SEC championship when it was 6-1 in SEC games and Auburn was 5-1. At the time, the SEC office was not involved in scheduling. Teams were required to play six SEC games, but they could play as many SEC teams as they chose, and they all counted in the standings. Auburn played seven SEC games often, too, including in 1971.

In the 1960s, if a team didn’t have six conference games, the SEC office would designate an opponent as a conference game.


Freshmen became eligible to play for varsities in 1972. They still could not be redshirted, meaning they would have three years of eligibility left whether they played or not. Often, freshmen got some playing time but were redshirted as sophomores. Later, the rule was changed to allow players five seasons to play four. Still later, they could play in four games and still be redhirted.


Into the 1970s, African-American players in the SEC were rare. The ridiculous perception that African-American players weren’t fit to play quarterback was widespread. Condredge Holloway, from Lee High School in Huntsville, went to Tennessee and became a great quarterback because neither Auburn nor Alabama would recruit him as a quarterback.

African-American players now dominate the game at the highest level. In other parts of the game, change has been slower. Though a majority of players and even assistant coaches are African-Americans, there is not an African-American head football coach in the SEC. That is bound to change eventually because those who play the game are the ones who end up coaching it.


Before the Supreme Court took control of football television away from the NCAA, a team could play only a limited number of games on television. Once the Supreme Court ruling happened, everything changed. Cable television came along and the airwaves with college football games in the fall. Today, television networks have outsized influence. They pay conferences incredible amounts of money.


Even 20 years ago, it would have been unfathomable that coaches would become wealthy the day they signed contracts, and that those who were fired, would be paid millions to not coach.

Seven-figure contracts became the norm, and now eight-figure contracts aren’t unusual. It should have come as no surprise that, eventually, players and others would want to get their hands on some of that money.

And that led to the craziness we see today.


Paying players and allowing wholesale transfers has changed the game more than anything in my lifetime. We still don’t know where it is headed.

From the start, I laughed when it was said that NIL was just about allowing players to earn some spending money. I didn’t know what form it would take, but I knew it would rapidly become a bidding war. And it did.

I said then it would rapidly become NFL-lite,  and that is exactly what has happened and continues to happen.


In the 1950s, the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl were the main players in the business. The Gator Bowl was right behind them. The Liberty Bowl, played then in Philadelphia, was born in 1959 and the Bluebonnet Bowl, in Houston, a year later. Soon, bowls were sprouting all over the place.


For most of college football’s history, conference championships were the goal of most teams. The AP poll and UPI poll were born, not so much to crown a national champion, but to attract readers.

Until 1965, final polls were conducted after the regular season. Bowl games were not a factor. Statistics in bowl games did not count. They really were mostly for fun.

In 1965, because there were a number of teams crowded around the top, the AP decided its final poll would be conducted after the bowl games. Alabama went to the Orange Bowl ranked No. 4, and the three teams in front of it all lost. Alabama won.

For the next five seasons, the AP went back to conducting its final poll at the end of the regular season. It changed permanently in 1971. The UPI didn’t change until 1974.

The AP poll was much like it is now. One or two voters were selected from each state. Any sports writer who worked for a newspaper that subscribed to UPI could vote in the UPI poll. The UPI ultimately got out of the newspaper business and the coaches’ poll was born.


The first effort at deciding a national championship on the field was the Bowl Alliance, which endeavored to put No. 1 against No. 2. Because of conference tieups with bowls, it didn’t really work. Finally, in 1998, the BCS was born. That lasted until 2014, when the four-team College Football Playoff was created. Next year, it will be 12 teams.

The playoff has indisputably created interest and has been a financial bonanza. But it has a downside, too. From the start of the season, the focus is on who will be in the playoff. That should not be all that matters in college football.

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