Auburn football transfer a low-risk-high-reward option for post-spring portal cycle

Alabama v Auburn
Alabama v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Chop Chat's Taylor Devers sees Auburn football transfer linebacker Cam Riley as a "low-risk-high-reward" post-spring portal cycle option for FSU, and by extension, any other Power Five school on Riley's radar.

"One transfer prospect to monitor would likely be Auburn veteran linebacker Cam Riley, who recently entered the portal," Devers wrote. "Riley has recorded 120 tackles (8 for loss) and 2.5 sacks during his four-year playing career with the Tigers.

"The veteran linebacker is listed at 6'5", 242 pounds, and he could be an option that could provide experienced leadership to the younger contributors. While the linebacker position is not as valued in the 4-2-5 defensive scheme, this could be at worst a low-risk-high-reward backup option. This will likely be an instance where Riley comes to the school of his choice after the spring."

Incoming 5-star Georgia flip Demarcus Riddick and Duke transfer Dorian Mausi figured to threaten Riley's role, and as a grad transfer, the Evergreen, Alabama product has immediate eligibility.

Change inevitable for Auburn football after third straight losing season

Riley was second on the Tigers in tackles just two seasons ago (2022), but with yet another losing season in the books, change was inevitable for the roster. Hugh Freeze has pulled out the roots of the program Bryan Harsin inherited and (barely) built, and with his own guys coming in, it's not a shocker to see Gus Malzahn recruits depart.

It's more of a shocker that Malzahn recruits still have eligibility, but that's modern college football for you. I mean Miami's Cam McCormick was just granted a ninth year of eligibility. That's a 2016 recruit...

With all of this change -- which also includes an overhauled coaching staff from Freeze's first year to his second -- comes, perhaps, different results in 2024 and beyond. Freeze's first big-fish blue-chip high school recruits are making way to the Plains this coming fall, and there's a cautiously optimistic but tangible hope that the proper steps are being taken to take over the state of Alabama, after Nick Saban's retirement, and eventually, the SEC.