Auburn football recruiting: Phillip O’Brien Jr. opts out of commitment

Auburn football at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn football at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. /

Auburn football was dealt a blow to their 2021 recruiting class when they lost Phillip O’Brien Jr. on Tuesday night.

With the decision to relieve Gus Malzahn of his duties as the Auburn football head coach, the program must have known there would be trickle-down effects as a result.

Already, next year’s recruiting class is suffering from all of the uncertainty in the Plains, and it is causing them to miss out on key prospects like Phillip O’Brien Jr., who opted out of his commitment with Auburn football:

"The changes made this week within the Auburn Program has caused uncertainty in my decision to sign with #WDE and I have made the difficult decision not to sign tomorrow. I remain very interested in Auburn and look forward to learning the direction of the future leadership and football philosophy. During this time my family and I will diligently pray and consider the best outcome for this very important decision while considering new opportunities that have been presented to me."

This is not good.

While not unexpected, the residual effects of letting go of Gus Malzahn has thrown the entire recruitment process in a loop for the Auburn football program. Unless players genuinely fell in love with everything about the program (remember this was far from a normal year for high school prospects in terms of visits and what not), not knowing who will be in the charge will–and should–cause them to reconsider their decision.

Imagine if someone like Lane Kiffin came aboard? A simple phone call to the returning Ole Miss Rebels of next season would be an easy way to prepare for what life could potentially be like for one of the bounciest and most beloved coaches in football.

Even a guy like Mario Cristobal represents something completely different than what Malzahn was in Auburn. The run-heavy Tiger offense would surely see a drastic shift underneath either of the aforementioned potential targets.

Whatever happens next for O’Brien Jr., you can’t hate on his decision to see how things play out. Any number of coaches could find their way into the mix for what is now one of college football’s most desirable gigs.

Whether not the next head coaching choice lures O’Brien Jr. back, the War Eagle wishes him luck in his football career!

dark. Next. What the newest commit means to the Tigers