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Auburn linebacker Javiere Mitchell, tight end Chris Laye no longer part of program

Auburn linebacker JaViere Mitchell, No. 16, makes a tackle against San Jose State Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn linebacker JaViere Mitchell, No. 16, makes a tackle against San Jose State Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. AP Photo

Auburn tight end Chris Laye and linebacker Javiere Mitchell are no longer part of the program.

Coach Gus Malzahn confirmed the news when he detailed the state of his roster Tuesday at a press conference a few hours before his team was set to take the practice field for the first time this spring.

Laye announced his decision on his Twitter account over the weekend. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder was used sparingly as a redshirt freshman.

“Chris is going to finish his degree here at Auburn,” Malzahn said. “He’s a fine young man. He’s going to have a bright future.”

Mitchell had a larger role the past two seasons as a special teams contributor and reserve linebacker. As a sophomore, he had 13 tackles with a sack. The junior was expected to compete for playing time at a thin position, but will focus on his career outside football instead.

“JaViere Mitchell is a guy that’s graduated, and he’s chosen not to come back for next year,” Malzahn said. “He’s ready to start his life and his career. He did a great job for us the last three years.”

Malzahn acknowledged Mitchell’s decision was another hit at the team’s depth at linebacker.

Illinois linebacker T.J. Neal is expected to join the team for the fall as a graduate transfer, but won’t be with the team in the spring. Malzahn declined to comment on Neal’s status while the team awaits his transfer to be finalized.

“We’ve got some young guys that are inexperienced. Tre Williams is the one guy, he’s kind of the veteran of the group right now,” Malzahn said. “We feel good about these young guys. There is nothing better than getting reps in the spring and all those young guys are going to have an opportunity to show what they can do.”

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