Auburn signed 16 new recruits on Wednesday, including Markaviest Bryant, a 4-star weak-side defensive end out of Crisp County (Cordele, Ga.). Bryant’s coach at Crisp County was Shelton Felton, who looks to be heading to the Plains as well.
Jay G. Tate of Auburn Sports is reporting that Auburn plans to hire Felton as a defensive analyst. Tate’s report caught the attention of some media members who note that Felton’s hire would be in violation of a proposed rule.
@BruceFeldmanCFB That legislation would be retroactive to January if it passes in April.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 2, 2017
Earlier in January, at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Nashville, the association announced that it was proposing an “Individuals Associated With a Prospect” rule for college football. The rule would prohibit a school from hiring an individual associated with a current prospect from a high school, preparatory school or two-year college for a position, on-field or off-field, in the same sport.
Auburn is not the only school to hire a recruit’s coach, as Michigan hired the high school of 2016’s No. 1 recruit, Rashan Gary. Feldman notes that if the NCAA adopts the rule in April, it will be retroactive to January, meaning Felton will be out of his analyst job. At least one recruiting analyst believes Bryant picked Auburn over other offers because of Felton’s opportunity with the Tigers.
Head coach of Markaviest Bryant, who chose Auburn yesterday. Primary reason I predicted on Tuesday that was where Bryant would go. https://t.co/wk6Cr7VBIa
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) February 2, 2017
As far as the hire happening, Felton shot down the rumors to WALB’s Jake Wallace and told Auburn Undercover’s Brandon Marcello this afternoon that he had not been offered a position on the Tigers’ staff.
Crisp Co. HC Shelton Felton on rumors he's heading to Auburn: "There's nothing to it. I'm going to be at Crisp until they send me packing."
— Jake Wallace (@WALBJake) February 2, 2017
Crisp County (Ga.) coach Shelton Felton told me this afternoon he has not been offered position as an analyst at Auburn. But if they do …
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) February 2, 2017
It will be interesting to watch if Felton ends up joining the staff, and if so, if he stays on past April.