The Auburn Tigers will have some rebuilding to do on the defensive line in 2021.
Defensive end Markaviest “Big Kat” Bryant and defensive tackle Daquan Newkirk, both seniors, announced Sunday they will enter the NCAA transfer portal, taking advantage of having another season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryant, a team captain, thanked Auburn for support on his “developmental college journey” and said it was an honor to represent the school.
“I have decided it is in my best interest to enter the transfer portal in order to weigh my options for this upcoming season… & I am ready to DOMINATE! Let’s Go!!” Bryant wrote on Twitter.
Bryant finished 2020 with 17 tackles, including three sacks, and four quarterback hurries. In four years at Auburn, Bryant appeared in 49 games and amassed career totals of 56 tackles, 10 sacks, two interceptions and seven passes defended.
Newkirk stepped into a starting role for the Tigers in 2020, and finished the season with 28 tackles, including three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. After starting his career at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, he appeared in 30 games over the past three seasons for Auburn, totaling 40 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Auburn was 6-5 in 2020, and finished with a 35-19 loss to Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl. New head coach Bryan Harsin was hired on Dec. 22.