Bo Nix, Tank Bigsby in transfer portal: What does that mean for Auburn?

Just as Auburn started 2021, the Tigers ended it poorly. In Bryan Harsin’s first year in charge, the Tigers started the season 4-1 and regularly broke into the top 25. After previous consecutive victories. 17 Arkansas and Miss 10 Ole, the Harsin era started with a score of 6-2.

But then the last four games happened. Auburn lost them all, including one frustrating game against South Carolina and a Fierce iron bowl paintings which the Tigers have led for the most part.

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The Tigers have one game left – Birmingham Bowl on December 28 with 20 Houston – and a chance to finish above .500. But even if the Tigers win, they will go into next season having lost two key players in the process with quarterback Bo Nix and running back against Tank Bigsby into the transfer portal.

Nix made its announcement Sunday on Instagram.

“When I came to Auburn, I wanted to do two things – play football and graduate,” Nix said in his statement. “I’m lucky enough to do both… I’ve made a lot of decisions for Auburn and now is the time to do what’s best for me and move on to the next chapter.”

The Tigers’ start for most of the past three seasons, Nix – Patrick’s father, who also plays QB for the Tigers – has come to Auburn under the guidance of Harsin predecessor Gus Malzahn, who is now at UCF. He played in 34 games and accumulated 39 touchdowns, but he also had 16 interceptions, completed 60% less of his passes and averaged 215 fewer yards per game.

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He also missed the Tigers’ final two games of the regular season, including the Iron Bowl loss, after having surgery to repair a broken ankle.

Bigsby, Nix’s backyard teammate for the past two seasons, has joined Nix in the Sunday gate.

Bigsby dashed 1,003 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games this year as a sophomore, but he also a false key in the Iron Bowl helped Alabama come back and win the game. During his two seasons at Auburn, Bigsby averaged 5.3 yards per take and was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2020. He is one of the highest-back runners. to join the portal in 2021.

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Should Harsin decide to stay at home to replace them, he will have TJ Finley in midfield and Jarquez Hunter at the back. Finley impressed in the Iron Bowl despite his injury, and Hunter was more efficient than Bigsby, averaging 6.9 yards on 84 runs compared with Bigsby’s 4.8 yards over 207 runs.

Most of the players on the Tigers roster are Malzahn power holders. The upcoming recruiting class will be Harsin’s first real shot at leaving his mark on the show. The Tigers have not finished below the .500 mark since 2012 when they won 3-9 and fired Gene Chizik.

As Wednesday’s early contract signing date approaches, the Tigers have the best 35th spot in the country, according to 247Sports, behind schools like Arizona, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, according to 247Sports. They ranked 13th out of 14 SEC schools, just ahead of Florida, in Sportsbook 247’s ranking.

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In addition to his high school commitments, Harsin will and is likely to actively recruit transfer portals. There are quarterbacks in there – specifically Spencer Rattler and Max Johnson – who will provide upgrades over Nix and Finley. Johnson has experience against Auburn and the SEC from his days at LSU, while Rattler starts the 2021 season as a Heisman favorite at Oklahoma.

If Harsin wanted to replace Bigsby with just a skill position player in the gate, the obvious target would be the FIU wide-field tyrese Chambers, who had 45 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns in the lineup. 1-11 Panthers by Butch Davis. Chambers has made strides in competition before, from college to FCS at Sacred Heart to Group 5 at FIU. Moving to the Power 5 team will be the final step for year two.

If Harsin wants a one-for-one run, he might consider Zach Evans, who has played in just six games for TCU this season but remains the team’s top driver with 648 yards and five touchdowns in when averaging 7.0 yards per take.

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