Former five-star defensive lineman Byron Cowart leaves Auburn

Update: Auburn has confirmed that defensive lineman Byron Cowart has asked to leave the program in hopes of other opportunities. Specifically, coach Gus Malzahn said Cowart cited playing time a reason for his desire to leave. 

In an interview with, Cowart also said a health issue with which his mother is dealing partially led to his departure. He wishes to return home to Florida. As is usually the case, Cowart says he will only be allowed to receive a grant-in-aid from anywhere outside the SEC and from teams not on Auburn's 2018 schedule. For now, he is going to enroll at a school close to his mom to continue his academics. 

Original story

This week has not been good for Auburn attrition. On Monday, the university announced that quarterback Sean White, a one-time starter who played in 16 games over the last two seasons, was dismissed from the team following a public intoxication charge. 

Now it appears the Tigers are losing another player: defensive lineman Byron Cowart. According to, Cowart has requested his release from Auburn. The report states that the request is "in the process" and up to coach Gus Malzahn. Derek Tyson first reported the news on Tuesday morning. 

Auburn has not officially announced anything regarding Cowart. 

Cowart came to Auburn as the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2015 recruiting class, per the 247Sports Composite. His National Signing Day saga was one of the more dramatic stories of that year's class. Cowart originally committed to Auburn over Florida during a televised announcement, choosing to commit to his primary recruiter (Will Muschamp, then AU defensive coordinator) over what was believed to be his leader (UF). However, his National Letter of Intent was not received for several hours with conflicting reports as to why. 

Cowart has just 15 career tackles to date and made a move from defensive end to defensive tackle this offseason. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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