AUBURN | The highest ranking signee in school history won’t finish his career at Auburn.
Defensive lineman Byron Cowart, who was rated by Rivals as a five-star and and the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2015 class, is leaving just three games into his junior season.
"Byron Cowart has come to me numerous times over the last couple of weeks disappointed in his playing time," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "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."
Cowart’s career never really got off the ground at Auburn as he struggled to adapt to the tough love coaching style of Rodney Garner and the high expectations that came with his ranking.
“I wish we would have redshirted him his freshman year. It would have been better for him,” Garner said in April.
Cowart played in 26 career games without a start and leaves with just 15 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble and no sacks in three seasons.
He moved from defensive end to defensive tackle this year and was off to a decent start this fall with three tackles and 0.5 tackles-for-loss in three games.
Cowart compiled 185 tackles and 29 sacks at Armwood High School in Seffner, Fla., winning state championships as a junior and senior. He chose the Tigers over Florida on Signing Day.