With Owen Pappoe heading to the NFL, Auburn football needed a linebacker and got one Sunday morning.
DeMario Tolan, who played one year at LSU before entering the transfer portal Jan. 4, said he would play for Auburn and coach Hugh Freeze. Tolan saw limited action in his lone season in Baton Rouge, logging just 10 tackles, but he’s a former four-star recruit that was highly coveted a year ago.
Coming out of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, the 6-foot-2, 222-pound Tolan was ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 204 overall player and 20th-best linebacker in 2022. He was also tabbed as the No. 24 recruit in Florida.
Tolan’s offer list, which included Auburn, was long. He saw attention from programs like, Clemson, FSU, Miami, Michigan, Oregon and Penn State, among others. He also had offers from SEC programs Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Liberty, where Freeze was coaching last season, was also in on Tolan’s recruitment.
Tolan is the sixth player to transfer to Auburn in recent weeks, joining offensive tackles Dillon Wade (Tulsa) and Gunner Britton (Western Kentucky), tight end Rivaldo Fairweather (Florida International), edge Elijah McAllister (Vanderbilt) and defensive lineman Mosiah Nasili-Kite (Maryland).
The Tigers had not received a commitment from a linebacker this offseason, and Tolan’s addition is the first big acquisition made in that room since Josh Aldridge was hired to be the team’s linebackers coach last month.