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AUBURN — Auburn has lost another player to the transfer portal in wide receiver Landen King. King announced his transfer on Twitter after there were reports that he was taking a redshirt after limited action this season.
“First off, I want to thank coach Malzahn for believing in a kid from Texas during COVID, and giving me the opportunity to come play for one of the best universities in the country. Auburn will always hold a very very special place in my heart,” said King in his announcement.
Around the same time, it was learned that defensive back A.D. Diamond was no longer on the active roster on auburntigers.com despite being listed on the game notes.
“He is no longer on the team,” said Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin when asked about Diamond’s status.
With King and Diamond gone, Auburn has lost nine of the 18 signees from the 2021 recruiting class.
Following King’s transfer, there was a report from Auburn Daily indicating that Harsin has been denying redshirts to players if they did not have a medical reason, telling them to transfer or quit the team.
“I don’t know what report you’re talking about,” Harsin replied when asked about the report. “We obviously, every player who comes in, we know who has them [injuries].”
He then turned his attention towards the Razorbacks of Arkansas (4-3, 1-3 SEC) and Saturday’s matchup. The Tigers have won six straight in the rivalry dating back to the 2016 victory inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Razorbacks and Tigers are tied for last in the SEC West, but both are heading in different directions following Arkansas’ 52-35 win over BYU. The Razorbacks bring one of the most balanced attacks in the SEC to the Plains, averaging 248.6 passing yards per game along with an even 240 rushing yards per game.
“The balance of the run game with the QB, the backs, the different ways they get guys the ball,” Harsin said when asked about the challenges Arkansas poses to Auburn’s defense.
The Tigers’ defensive front is short-handed following defensive end Eku Leota’s injury during the season and gave up the most rush yards in at least 22 years in the loss to Ole Miss. The Razorbacks' offense is ninth in rushing offense and No. 21 in the nation in yards per carry with 5.0.
“Well, the biggest challenge is they’re really good,” Harsin said when asked about the offensive line. “They do a lot of really good things up front and they’re well coached.”
Auburn has had its own issues along the offensive line this season with injuries at the center and a rotation of players that has led to Brandon Council taking over at center.
Despite the issues and constant flux along the vital part of the offense, Harsin remains optimistic about where the unit is at the bye week.
“Everyone is trying to make progress, and we are at the o-line, and this is an opportunity against Arkansas, a really good defense, to see where we are,” Harsin said.
Auburn and Arkansas will kick off at 11 a.m. CST on the SEC Network.
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