Last night, former Auburn quarterback Tyrik Rollison (or someone posting as him) wrote the following on his Facebook page:
“Just got off the phone with Coach Chizik and I'm heading back to Auburn! He said I would have a chance to compete for the starting spot! This has been a crazy day, SO BLESSED #WAREAGLE”
Rollison was a promising QB prospect who signed with Auburn as part of their 2009 class, redshirted in his freshman year, then flamed out academically. He was suspended from the team prior to the 2010 Outback Bowl appearance and did not travel with them.
When Auburn signed Cam Newton in December 2009, Rollison transferred to Sam Houston State and then fell off the radar.
It’s no secret—Auburn needs a quarterback.
Rollison also has a history of announcing things on Facebook—he announced his transfer to Sam Houston on the social media website. So the stage was set for a masterful trolling job and Auburn fans fell for it. Twitter went ballistic with “woo hoos” and “welcome back” messages. Auburn message boards at Rivals, Scout and 247Sports erupted spectacularly, and were peppered with similar posts.
As others pointed out that Coach Chizik was out of the country on a mission trip, the Rollison troll updated his story:
“Its crazy I'm on top of the world right now. Coach Chizik took the time to call me this morning while he is overseas. So proud to back going back to the Plains. AUBURN Lets GO!”
“Coach Chizik not just called me from overseas, but he used one of those phones that work on airplanes! WDE! I'm back!”
Of course, there’s no way for Rollison to transfer back to a FBS school from a FCS school like Sam Houston (ed. note: This may not be the case). Further, the date for early enrollment passed in January, so there’s no way Rollison could join the team and be eligible to participate in spring drills, even if someone worked a magic waiver to clear a path to the Plains.
UPDATE: A reader also points out that the purported phone conversation(s) may represent a violation of NCAA by-laws if certain conditions are not met:
220.127.116.11 Four-Year College Prospective Student-Athletes. An athletics staff member or other representative of the institution’s athletics interests shall not make contact with the student-athlete of another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining the written permission of the first institution’s athletics director (or an athletics administrator designated by the athletics director) to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact.
To be fair, almost any fan base would be susceptible to a well played troll job, and this one was very well played indeed. If a Trent Richardson troll suddenly tweeted that he’d spoken with Nick Saban about coming back for his senior year…
To Mr. Rollison (or whoever posted as him), well done, sir.