Auburn football: TJ Finley and Donovan Kaufman ruled immediately eligible

The SEC has reportedly voted to eliminate the league’s intraconference transfer rule according to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated. This signals big news for Auburn Football as two of the biggest transfers this offseason as been from conference foes LSU (TJ Finley) and Vanderbilt (Donovan Kaufman).

The rule originally required players who transferred within the conference to miss an entire season before becoming eligible to play for the new program. This follows the announcements from the ACC and PAC-12, in which both conferences recently announced the elimination of a similar rule.

The announcement is not shocking due to the recent announcement from the NCAA that allows players to transfer one time without penalty. College Football has moved towards a more player-friendly environment and this was the next big step in the development of that culture for college football.

TJ Finley announced his transfer to Auburn on May 24th and many experts expect Finley to push Bo Nix for the QB1 role for the 2021 Auburn Tigers. Finley being eligible is more important, because it provides the Tigers with much-needed depth behind Bo Nix at the QB position, which was left thin due to transfers within the program over the last few months. Finley gives Auburn a backup QB, at minimum, with some SEC experience and this is something the Tigers have not had in multiple seasons at the QB spot.

Donovan Kaufman being eligible for the Tigers is a much more important development, because safety might be the biggest need for Tigers going into the 2021 season. Auburn has lost Christian Tutt, Jamien Sherwood, & Chris Thompson Jr. over the past few months and this left a huge void next to Smoke Monday at the safety and the Star position in the Derek Mason defensive scheme. The only thing stopping Kaufman from starting for the Tigers was going to be his eligibility and with that being a non-factor now he should be primed to be a top contributor for the Tigers secondary.

Good on the SEC for making the announcement, even if it was expected.