Vanderbilt has lost arguably their best defensive player of the 2020 season, and the Auburn football program is poised to capitalize on the opportunity to deepen the roster at safety.
Former three-star recruit Donovan Kaufman entered the NCAA transfer portal in late April, and now he’s rumored to be joining the Tigers. The former Commodore played in just two games before missing out on the rest of the 2020 season due to a medical issue.
According to 247Sports, Kaufman played both safety and nickel and accumulated 15 tackles as well as a touchdown on a kickoff return. He entered the portal after participating in spring practices under Vanderbilt’s new head coach, Clark Lea.
New beginnings… pic.twitter.com/ABHPX7Kdtk
— Donovan Kaufman (@SosaKaufman) April 21, 2021
With his former coach Derek Mason now heading up Auburn’s defense, Kaufman is predicted by many to be heading to the Plains. Auburn Rivals reported that Kaufman’s relationship with Coach Mason is still going strong:
“I’ve talked to Coach Mason a lot,” Kaufman said. “My relationship with Coach Mason has always been great and it still is. We have a great relationship. He knows my family well. I know him and his family well. I loved playing for him. He’s just a great guy. I love him.”
Mason and the Tigers are going after Kaufman hard, but are competing heavily with the University of Texas and Florida State. Kaufman plans to make his decision in mid-May and will have four years of eligibility left.
The Kaufman-Auburn predictions come after the announcement that Tigers safety Chris Thompson will be entering his name into the NCAA transfer portal, marking the fourth Tiger to enter the portal in five days.
🔥🔥 PREDICTION ALERT 🔥 🔥
— Jboy’s News & Notes (@JboyNotes) May 4, 2021
It’s possible that a lot of the recent transfer activity could point to new player acquisitions for the Auburn football team, but it could also just indicate that new head coach Bryan Harsin is weeding out those who aren’t on board with the culture change. I think I speak for all Auburn fans when I say that we’re looking forward to the change.