Auburn football: Another player transfers, but sky is not falling on Plains

Auburn receiver Nate Craig-Myers has left the football program. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Auburn receiver Nate Craig-Myers has left the football program. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Another player is leaving the Auburn football program? The gut instinct for some people will be to question the direction of the program, question the coaches, question everything.

That’s to be expected, especially after a gut-wrenching loss.

And I wanted to see Nate Craig-Myers do big things for Auburn football since he signed his letter-of-intent as part of the 2016 recruiting class. He was a 4-star prospect from Tampa Catholic who brought size, speed, athleticism — the whole package as a receiver.

But it never came together at Auburn, for one reason or another. Now, he’s gone. Along with his half-brother Jayvaughn Myers, the two are the fifth and sixth players to leave the team, joining Jalen Harris, Aidan Marshall, John Broussard and Tyler Carr.

  • As a freshman in 2016, he battled nagging injuries and caught four passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.
  • Last season, he upped that to 16 receptions for 285 yards and three scores and started to look like an over-the-middle go-to guy and a red-zone threat.
  • But this season, Craig-Myers caught two passes for 39 yards against Washington in the season opener. That’s it.

Must Read. Style points become big factor for Auburn moving forward. light

It was understandable that he didn’t catch a ball against Alabama State — Auburn completed just 8-of-14 passes in a blowout win — but to see freshman Seth Williams become a bigger part of the offense against LSU (and not catch a pass for the second consecutive week), likely was the tipping point for Craig-Myers.

Now, because of the new redshirt rule, he can use this season as a redshirt one and be able to play next season as a transfer, much like Harris, who announced he’s leaving the Auburn football program Wednesday.

If there’s one position on this team that Auburn can handle attrition, it’s receiver. We wrote earlier this week that there are a lot of pass-catchers battling for one football. Eventually, someone was going to feel left out with freshmen Anthony Schwartz and Williams seeing their number of snaps increase.

We all saw the potential that Williams brings to the passing game last week against LSU. He’s had an issue with a couple of drops, but he has shown that he will go get the ball in traffic and that’s a good trait to have as a big-bodied receiver.

So Auburn will move on from Craig-Myers. They’ll wish him the best. We hope Craig-Myers lands somewhere and does good things. He has the capability.

It just wasn’t going to be at Auburn.

The Tigers still can throw an array of targets on the field for Jarrett Stidham: Ryan Davis, Darius Slayton, Sal Cannella, Schwartz, Williams, Matthew Hill, Shedrick Jackson, Marquis McClain and possibly Will Hastings and Eli Stove, who both have returned to the field for brief stints after recovering from ACL injuries. It is conceivable that one or both could redshirt this season.

Next. It matters very little who Auburn's starting RB is. dark

The timing is good for the remaining receivers, especially Williams.

Auburn plays Arkansas this week at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Razorbacks are 1-2, but have been good against the run. The game could present itself as a big opportunity for Chip Lindsey to work on the passing game that has been mostly vanilla this season.