5-star defensive end Carl Lawson does not want to talk about the status of his commitment to the Auburn Tigers. This is not a good sign for Gus Malzahn, his staff and Auburn in general.
Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Lawson refused to talk about his commitment status when asked about it by a reporter at the RisingSeniors.com banquet:
Also, Carl Lawson was a speaker at Thursday’s event. He’s ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect by ESPN. While Lawson said he was “humbled” and “blessed” by the ranking, he also said “it’s not all it’s cracked up to be” and made it clear he is ready to end the recruiting process as soon as possible (he’s committed to Auburn but looking at a few other schools, including Clemson, Ole Miss, and Tennessee). Lawson also had a Q-and-A session with a reporter while on the stage; when asked about the status of his commitment to Auburn, Lawson smiled and said “no comment” while exiting to his seat.
Lawson doesn't strike me as a recruit who is feeling good about his commitment.
He's been committed to the Tigers since March, but there's no doubting that things have drastically changed with the Auburn program since then. Gene Chizik and his staff were fired, and after that, it seemed as if Lawson's commitment started to waiver a bit. Things seemed to be picking up a bit after a visit from new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and one with Malzahn himself, but this seems like a new low.
If anything, Lawson's commitment to Auburn has been on a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions.
All that matters is the final destination, but the question now has to be: Is he going to stay committed to Auburn?
Unfortunately, that's not an answer that I can personally give. If we know anything about college football recruiting, it's that it's an extremely unpredictable experience. Remember, these are still high school kids making one of the biggest decisions of their lives, and the pressure that they are under has to be immense.
At the very least, though, I can offer my opinion, and in this case, it doesn't look good for Auburn.
The "no comment" comment is a staple in sports, but it's never really a substitute for a good comment. Outside of coach-speak, how many times have you heard "no comment" from an athlete or public figure in sports when they were feeling particularly good about a topic?
If Lawson was solid with his commitment and excited about the future of Auburn football, why wouldn't he just come out and say that? If you're excited about something, you want to tell people about it, right?
When you add up his refusal to talk about the status of his commitment with his wavering after the staff overhaul, it doesn't paint a pretty picture for the Tigers.
This is indeed bad news for Auburn recruiting.