Bryan Harsin’s Auburn football program will be bringing on a stud defender from the B1G 10.
In landing Northwestern transfer Andrew Leota, the Tigers have proven to be a destination for premier talent under the new regime. Per 247sports.com, the former Wildcat recorded 25 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks in his three-year stint in Evanston, Illinois. This past year was when the six-foot-four, 250 lb defensive end amassed most of them, with 23 tackles and 4 sacks during the topsy-turvy 2020 campaign.
Unlike in the SEC, Leota played in front of cardboard cutouts in lieu of in-person fans. This upcoming season should provide the breakout star of the Northwestern defense to experience true college football bliss: a packed Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Outside of a blip against Michigan State, Northwestern had as successful of a season as a team that didn’t take home the conference championship could. They edged out a ranked IowaHawkeyes team in a Halloween night classic after being down 17-0, and followed that up with another victory over a ranked opponent, holding the Wisconsin Badgers to a single touchdown en route to another victory over a (then) ranked opponent.
Leota helped spearhead Northwestern to being #22 in the country in overall defense and #19 in forced turnovers. While they ultimately lost to Ohio State in the B1G 10 Championship–after OSU did their best Nick Saban impression and changed the rules on qualifying for the title game after originally failing to play the necessary six games–Northwestern did end up in the Citrus Bowl.
Leota was absent for Northwestern’s victory over Auburn football on New Year’s Day so there will be no bad blood when he makes his way to the Plains (not there would have been anyway since Kevin Steele was coaching the Tigers).
Instead, excitement is palpable now that Auburn has established itself as a player in the transfer portal.