AUBURN, Ala. The final remaining obstacle in Kalvaraz Bessent's path to Auburn has been removed.
Gus Malzahn said Monday that Bessent will join the rest of the Tigers' 2014 signees later this year. However, Bessent's arrival will come with a cavaet, as Malzahn said close tabs will be kept on the four-star cornerback.
"He will be on a probationary status when he gets here," the coach said, "but he will be coming in with the other signees."
Bessent and three others were arrested in February on a pair of felony drug charges (marijuana possession of more than 20 grams and marijuana possession with intent to distribute) and a misdemeanor (possession of drug paraphernalia) stemming from a traffic stop in Nassau County, Fla. One week later, all charges against Bessent were dropped after the owner of the vehicle, a juvenile, stated that the drugs belonged to the other passengers: Elbert Thornton, 21 and Artez Ward, 19, both of Jacksonville.
The Camden County (Ga.) product made 34 tackles and snagged two interceptions last season on his way to being named an all-state selection by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was one of three corners the Tigers signed in their most recent recruiting class. With Chris Davis gone, Auburn has a starting position open.
On signing day, Malzahn said it wouldn't surprise him if Bessent was able to find his way into the lineup from Day 1.
"Very athletic," he said. "Coach Melvin Smith identified him as one of the top corners early on, and he hung in there, kept recruiting him, and we really felt like we got a guy that can help us immediately. He's got very good ball skills, and a very good cover guy."