Auburn signs 12 in transfer portal

Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze is introduced during the first half of an NCAA college...
Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze is introduced during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Auburn and Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 3:02 PM CST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - With the first window of the transfer portal closing today, the Auburn Tigers have added 12 new faces to the roster. The initial portal window was open from Dec. 5 – Jan. 18.

According to 247 Sports, Auburn ranks second in the country behind Florida State when it comes to landing the most impactful transfers.

Understanding there was a lot of concern with the offensive line after this past season, Coach Freeze and his staff were able to bring in three new linemen to battle for a starting job upfront. Gunner Britton stands out among the bunch.

Britton will be a fifth-year senior coming to the plains from Western Kentucky. Britton appeared in all 14 games for the Hilltoppers this past season, and his 87 pass-blocking grade ranks fifth nationally among tackles. During the 2019 season, he was a key piece of the offensive line that helped now New England Patriots QB Bailey Zappe become the 2021 C-USA MVP.

The other offensive linemen the Tigers were able to bring in through the portal include Avery Jones, a big 6′4″, 305 lbs. interior lineman who spent last season at East Carolina, and Dillon Wade, the 6′4″, 290 lbs. tackle from Tulsa.

A potential replacement for Tank Bigsby, who recently declared for the NFL draft, has come to Auburn from the University of South Florida. Brian Battie rushed for 1,186 yards on 176 carries with 8 touchdowns this past season with the Bulls. Battie proved last season that he could handle the workload, and his 6.7 average yards per rush ranked 15th in the nation last season.

On the other side of the ball, the Tigers were able to bring in two linebackers from SEC West Rivals. Austin Keys, a red-shirt junior, comes to the plains after spending the previous two seasons with Ole Miss. Keys registered 14 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble during the 2022 season.

DeMario Tolan spent the 2022 season with LSU during his freshman season. Tolan was credited with 9 tackles through 12 games played and will be looking to play a larger role on the Auburn defense in 2023.

The transfer list also includes:

  • Justin Rogers (DL, Kentucky)
  • Nick Mardner (WR, Cincinnati)
  • Rivaldo Fairweather (TE, FIU)
  • Elijah McAllister (DL, Vanderbilt)
  • Lawrence Johnson (DL, Purdue)
  • Mosiah Nasili-Kite (DL, Maryland)

A second window of the transfer portal will open up on May 1 and close on May 15.

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