AUBURN, Ala. — On a day when Auburn football officially welcomed three offensive linemen to the team, two defensive players are now gone from the program.
Redshirt freshman defensive back Marlon Character Jr. and defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson Jr. will transfer from the Tigers, according to an interview Gus Malzahn gave with the school’s in-house website.
“They’ve decided to move on,” Malzahn said. “We wish them nothing but the best.”
Character and Jackson both redshirted last season for the Tigers. Jackson was a former top-50 recruit in the class of 2016, while Character was a 3-star safety from the Atlanta area.
Character had a strong spring for the Tigers, as he moved from safety to cornerback. He was a second-team cornerback for most of spring practices and got rave reviews from Auburn coaches and teammates.
“He has a lot of ability,” junior cornerback Carlton Davis said in March. “He kind of reminds me of myself as far as physicality and just being athletic, and he has some time to grow, but in the end I think he’ll be a good player for Auburn.”
As a highly rated player coming out of high school, Jackson was projected to be a future difference-maker on the Auburn defensive line. The Tigers lost three tackles to graduation this offseason, giving Jackson a perfect opportunity to earn playing time.
“Antwuan could be a really good player,” Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner said in March. “He still has to get a better grasp on the type of effort and execution that it’s going to take to perform at this level. That’s been his biggest thing, just learning that, hey, you’ve have to be willing to strain. You have to be willing to get uncomfortable to be able to become a great player.
“He has a tremendous skill set. He just has to embrace just turning it loose.”