Elijah Sullivan, an Auburn commit from Tucker High School, decided to sign with another school rather than accept a grayshirt offer on Wednesday.
It was one of the local surprises on signing day, with the 3-star linebacker opting at the last minute to join one of his Tucker teammates at Kansas State.
“Some things came up with Auburn,” Sullivan told the AJC. “They wanted to grayshirt me. My parents and I talked about it. Some things didn’t sit too well with them. So I opened it back up. My coach got Kansas State in the picture, and I officially flipped and signed with them on Wednesday morning.”
Sullivan, who is rated as the state’s No. 37 overall prospect, had committed to Auburn around a year ago. However, after the Tigers changed defensive coaches (including Will Muschamp as coordinator), so did Sullivan’s standing with the team. He was asked to take a grayshirt or delay his enrollment until next January.
“I was aware that Auburn wanted to grayshirt me about a month ago,” Sullivan said. “It happened right when Coach Muschamp and the new staff came in. I talked to them about a week later after they got there, and the coaches told me that they wanted to grayshirt me because, uh, well .. I’m not sure what it was really for so I’m not going to speak on that. But yeah, they told me right after the staff meeting that they wanted to grayshirt me.”
Sullivan reluctantly agreed to the deal but got a little antsy as signing day approached. His Tucker teammate, Duke Shelley, was committed to Kansas State, and knew they were looking for another linebacker.
“When it came down to crunch time, I wanted to make sure I was going to be fine to be admitted to Auburn next January. So I weighed my options, and I asked the Auburn coaches if I could talk to some other schools. They said it was fine. So I talked to some other coaches, and made my decision for Kansas State.”
Even though Sullivan had his future plans turned upside down within the last month, he claimed no ill will about the situation on Wednesday.
“I don’t have any hard feelings toward Auburn … not at all,” Sullivan said. “I still love Auburn, and it’s the first school of my choice. I have nothing but love for Auburn.
“Things come up in life, you know. You’ve just got to go with the flow, and make the best out of the situation.”
Sullivan’s abrupt change of plans didn’t seem to generate much of a reaction on Twitter on a busy signing day, with the exception of one of his friends:
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