AUBURN, Ala. — Wide receiver Philip Pierre-Louis is not currently on Auburn’s roster, but head coach Gene Chizik stressed that the redshirt freshman is still on the team and will be back once school starts.
Pierre-Louis, whose status with the team was a matter of debate during the summer, was a noticeable omission from the roster supplied by Auburn sports information Wednesday.
Although the receiver missed last year after tearing his ACL and was limited in the spring, Chizik said the absence is not injury-related. He declined to give further specifics.
Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said Pierre-Louis has “some personal things that he’s dealing with” and hopes Pierre-Louis might be able to return sooner than expected.
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A favorite of former offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, the diminutive Pierre-Louis was expected to be a big part of Auburn’s offense last season before a knee injury on the opening kickoff against Louisiana-Monroe forced him to miss the entire year.
Chizik did confirm that walk-on tailback Justin Albert is no longer with the team.
Junior college bound
Two of the four players Auburn hoped would get approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse did not. Defensive lineman Terrance Coleman and defensive tackle Josh Jackson failed to qualify academically and will enroll in junior colleges this fall, Chizik said.
“Obviously we wish them well,” Chizik said. “They’re great kids with a great future. This is just kind of the direction they felt was best for themselves at this point.”
That makes five players from Auburn’s 2009 recruiting class that did not make the grade. Defensive backs Reggie Taylor and Izauea Lanier and wide receiver LaVoyd James failed to get into school as well.
The Tigers are still waiting word on safety Daren Bates and junior college cornerback Taikwon Paige.
One more shot?
While the coaching staff continues to be mum about injured safety Aairon Savage, his teammates said the senior might give football another shot.
Savage, a fifth-year senior who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, had surgery following an injury to his Achilles’ heel this summer, something that will likely keep him out for the season. To play again, he would have to petition the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver and a sixth year of eligiblity, something former Auburn defensive tackle Tez Doolittle did last year.
“He still excited about it and thinking about trying it again when he does heal,” safety Zac Etheridge said.
Savage has been trying to find other ways to fill his time.
“He really don’t play video games and lately he’s been playing nothing but video games,” roommate Walt McFadden said. “He’s been playing with Auburn and he’s on the game, so that’s all he’s been doing. I guess he’s using that as a sub.”
QB Barrett Trotter (ACL) and WR Tim Hawthorne (broken foot) watched Wednesday’s action from the sidelines. ... S Mike McNeil (broken leg) had his helmet on but did not participate in any drills.