The first player to commit to Auburn with Bryan Harsin as coach comes from a program very familiar with the Tigers from bowl season.

Former Northwestern defensive end Eku Leota committed to Auburn on Saturday, he announced on his Instagram account, and wrote, “Excited and blessed for this opportunity, War Eagle!” Although Leota did not play in the Citrus Bowl against Auburn, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound edge-rusher was a redshirt sophomore for the Wildcats last season.

Leota appeared in eight games and made one start with 13 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss and four sacks. He also was credited with four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.

Leota is a native of Asheville, North Carolina, and coming out of high school, he was a 3-star prospect and No. 23 player in North Carolina by 247Sports.

An early enrollee out of high school, Leota said he would be a graduate transfer, which will make him immediately eligible at Auburn. Leota should have three years of eligibility remaining at Auburn, where he provides the Tigers with added experience and depth along the defensive line. Leota has 6.5 career sacks, which is more than any Auburn returnee.


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