ATHENS, Ga. Austin Golson will have to wait until next spring to start establishing himself on Auburn's offensive line.
Golson, who transferred from Ole Miss and enrolled at Auburn last month, had hoped to be granted a hardship waiver from the NCAA. Had that occurred, it would have made him eligible to play immediately. But prior to a speaking engagement at the Greater Athens Auburn Club, offensive line coach J.B. Grimes announced that Golson won't see the field in 2014.
"As of today, Austin will have to redshirt this year," Grimes said Monday evening.
Last season, Golson spent his time exclusively at right guard, seeing action in 12 games. Though he didn't make any starts in 2013, Golson was set to move into the Rebels' lineup this fall after shifting to right tackle and exiting the spring at the top of the depth chart.
Grimes was pleased that Golson has already flashed an ability to play multiple spots on the line. And it's not as if Golson is joining the Tigers as an unknown quantity. Grimes began to develop a relationship with Golson shortly after Gus Malzahn was hired as Auburn's coach in December 2012. But as Grimes quickly pointed out, the four-star prospect from Prattville, Alabama, ended up casting his lot with Ole Miss instead after flipping his commitment from Florida State.
Golson's intentions to transfer surfaced in April, as he told The Clarion-Ledger he wanted to be closer to his sick grandparents in Alabama. Originally, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had hinted at giving Golson a full release, which would have allowed the rising sophomore an opportunity to be on scholarship at Auburn this fall. The Rebels ended up permitting Golson to depart under "normal transfer rules," which means he'll join the Tigers as a walk-on this fall before he could be awarded a scholarship next spring.
Running back Corey Grant arrived at Auburn under similar circumstances.
After redshirting at Alabama as a freshman in 2010, he transferred to Auburn and walked on to the team in 2011. Grant then earned a scholarship and appeared in six games for Auburn during its 2012 campaign.
But the fact Golson won't be eligible until next year didn't bother Grimes.
He was just excited to add another player to the fold.
"When I heard that there was a possibility that this could happen (Golson's transfer), I went back and watched him play. I pulled up some Ole Miss and some opponent tape and watched him some. He's a good player," Grimes said. "He's got great size and he's been involved in SEC football games. There's no better experience than that."