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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn denies transfer rumors swirling around Roc Thomas and Jeremy Johnson

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn addresses the media at the Birmingham Bowl press conference Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn addresses the media at the Birmingham Bowl press conference Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn addressed rumblings a number of high-profile players could transfer this offseason during his appearance at the Birmingham Bowl press conference Thursday.

Outside of backup offensive lineman Will Adams, Malzahn doesn’t expect any Auburn players to pursue a transfer.  

Adams announced his plans to leave Auburn on social media at the end of the regular season. He intends to graduate at the end of the winter semester, participate in the bowl game and play out his final year of eligibility elsewhere. 

Malzahn went beyond a general denial in the case of quarterback Jeremy Johnson and running back Roc Thomas.

Both are will likely have to fight for playing time next season after struggling in the face of high expectations. Johnson rotated with Sean White for much of the season while Thomas went from No. 1 on the depth chart to fourth. 

Johnson’s high school coach Bill Gresham talked with his former player after Auburn’s regular season finale and came away with the impression the Carver alum would “fight it out.”

It was the same sentiment Johnson shared with coach Malzahn.

“We talked to our players, we talked to everyone of them,” Malzahn said. “We expect Jeremy to be back put it that way.”

The rumors surrounding Thomas’ transferring picked up steam this week when he sent out a cryptic Instagram post featuring a picture of him and Ricardo Louis celebrating with a message “…the end.”

Thomas deleted the post and tweeted his followers had misinterpreted it having to do with his future.

Malzahn emphatically said any suggestion or report that Thomas is transferring is “completely false.”

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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