Running back Alaric Williams, a key recruit in Auburn's 2017 class, has been ruled academically ineligible and will play next season at a junior college.
Williams announced his intentions on Twitter:
Williams committed to play for Auburn all the way back in 2015, two years before graduating from high school.
An Alabama native, Williams is rated as a 4-star prospect. He's the No. 2 running back from his home state and No. 214 player in the 2017 class, per Scout.com.
Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton envisioned Williams as a versatile player for the offense, potentially using him at wide receiver.
"Alaric is one of those players that could also play wideout for us, the slot position," Horton told AL.com's Tom Green in February. "He had a very productive high school career there at Southside-Gadsden, but he has good speed, has good vision, can break a tackle and make someone miss."
While Williams' loss does put a dent in Auburn's recruiting class, the Tigers are still stocked at running back. Devan Barrett is an incoming freshman. Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, Auburn's top two rushers from last season, are also back in 2017.