Miami Central OL Taurrian Stafford Pranked Into Thinking Auburn Offered Scholarship

    Miami Central offensive lineman Taurrian Stafford thought he had an offer from Auburn, until he learned that it was a prank.

    March 31, 2017

    Miami Central offensive lineman Taurrian Stafford thought he had an offer from Auburn, until he learned that it was a prank.


    Getting a scholarship offer from a football program like Auburn is a dream come true for many kids. Finding out that the offer was just part of a prank is a nightmare.

    That is exactly what happened to Taurrian Stafford, an offensive lineman out of Miami (Fla.) Central. Someone pretending to be Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand called Stafford on Tuesday, and that is when the circus began.

    “He was like, ‘I would like to offer you a scholarship,’” Stafford said. “I cried. When I got that offer, it was the high point of my whole life.”

    Stafford’s high school coaches spent Wednesday trying to make sure that the offer was valid; Stafford had only one previous offer, and that was from Florida A&M. Hand, the actual real Herb Hand, finally got back to them.

    “He called and said, ‘I’m sorry for the incident, but that was not me who called,’” Stafford said.

    For his part, Stafford took the news in stride, posting a message on Twitter.

    “I apologize to the Auburn University coaching staff and the recruiters who represented me…But after clearing things up with my coaches and the coaching staff at Auburn University…The offer I receive [sic] this Tuesday was a prank from someone who want [sic] to see me fall down but with hard work and dedication I will get back on my grind to receive scholarship offers.”

    Hand, who has a reputation for being one of the nicest coaches in the game, did his part to lift Stafford up after such a whirlwind of emotion.

    “He was talking and saying, ‘I’m so sorry,’” Stafford recalled. “But then he said, ‘I do need a center. I’ll come down in the spring to evaluate you.’ He was really cool. He was talking to my coaches. He’s a generous man. I felt relieved.”

    MORE: Auburn Tigers Spring Practice Preview, Storylines To Watch

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