Former 5-Star Recruit Byron Cowart Granted Release from Auburn

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2017

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Auburn Tigers helmet sits on the bench at Kyle Field on November 7, 2015 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Byron Cowart is no longer a member of the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn confirmed to reporters Cowart left the program after Brandon Marcello of 247Sports reported the defensive lineman was granted his release. Cowart was a 5-star recruit and the No. 3 overall player in the 2015 recruiting class, per 247Sports.

However, Marcello said he "has not lived up to the hype" since arriving on campus as such a highly regarded player.

"Byron Cowart has come to me numerous times over the last couple of weeks disappointed in his playing time," Malzahn told reporters Tuesday, per Justin Ferguson of SEC Country. "Yesterday, he came to me and said he wants to quit and pursue other opportunities, so we wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

This comes after Cowart moved from defensive end to defensive tackle and added weight in an effort to "crack the rotation as a junior," per Marcello.

"I think he's settling in," Malzahn said of the position change in August, per Tom Green of AL.com. "In the spring, he started settling in. It's like anything else—you get more reps at it, the better you're going to be. He's shown at times that he can rush the passer from inside pretty efficiently."

Despite the adjustment, he has tallied just three total tackles through the first two games this season as a backup without consistent playing time. He also posted a mere six tackles in each of his first two collegiate seasons.