The 4-star prep school wide receiver JaQuay Williams has decommited from the Auburn Tigers.
Losing has been the theme for Auburn this past year, and that's a huge reason behind why they decided to fire head coach Gene Chizik. But with that decision, they've also opened the door to losing recruits as well.
Auburn recruits currently have no idea what their future will hold. They don't know who their coach will be or what schemes they will run, and that can be a huge reason to decommit.
Count Williams as the first to go, according to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com:
The writing was on the wall a couple weeks ago for senior wide receiver Ja'Quay Williams (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek). But after the news that Auburn coach Gene Chizik had been fired, the four-star prospect made it official.
"Jaquay Williams is decommitting, officially," said his legal guardian, who also said he wished to remain anonymous. "Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma State are on the current list. And Auburn is still in the mix."
Where do the Tigers go from here? Williams was a big part of their 2013 class, and it will hurt to lose him. He's ranked as the No. 2 overall prep recruit according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and at 6'4'', 204 pounds, he is projected to be a big target wherever he does end up.
While the need to hit the recruiting trail in search of another wide receiver may seem dire for the Tigers, they need to first deal with the head coaching situation before they do anything else.
No smart recruit will commit to a program with no defined leader or direction, so being able to land a noteworthy player is most likely out of the picture for the time being. Additionally, every day that Auburn goes without a new coach is also another day a current commitment might be swayed to decommit as well. Fnding a good replacement has to be the main priority for the Tigers.
There are some very big names being thrown around, and Auburn needs to find a coach that can keep their 2013 intact, as well as lead the program into the future (Here's a list of five coaches I think would be great for the job).
Once Auburn figures that out, they can then check out the recruiting scene to fill the void Williams' will be leaving. It's worth noting that they should still try to bring Williams back, especially if he likes the new coach, but another prospect worth checking out would be 4-star receiver MarQuez North out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
North is 6'4'', 212 pounds and runs a 4.41 40 according to 247Sports, so he has the potential to be a big-time receiver. While his top two consists of North Carolina and Tennessee, with Clemson, Florida and Ohio State rounding out the top five, 247Sports does have Auburn listed as a "cool interest" and they have made an offer. Perhaps a new coach and new direction could help spark North's interest in the Tigers, and at the very least, the new head coach and his staff need to try to recruit him.
Another recruit they may want to consider offering is 3-star wide receiver Dijon Paschal, who has Auburn listed in his top two along with Tennessee according to 247Sports, but has yet to pick up an offer from either program. 247Sports lists Paschal at 6'1'', 179 pounds and has him down for running a 4.44 40, so he should become an intriguing option now that Williams has decommitted.
Where does Auburn go from here?
The loss of Williams will hurt, but there are still viable wide receiver options out there.
None of this will matter until they bring in a new head coach though, so that must be priority No. 1.