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Decoding Auburn’s Depth Chart

Auburn Drunk Tiger Logo

War Eagle everyone. Earlier this week, Auburn released its final depth chart for the close of spring practice. Let’s take a look and see whose  been working hard and whose been hardly working. 

Quarterbacks: Kiehl Frazier OR Jonathan Wallace

Somewhat of an interesting choice of words here; depending on how you look at it. The lack of separation is frustrating, but I honestly didn’t expect any other result. Besides, the quarterback competition wasn’t going to officially kick off until Nick Marshall’s arrival on campus this summer.

My gut tells me that Wallace and Marshall will be the two candidates that rise above the rest this fall. Also, don’t forget about incoming freshman Jeremy Johnson. Though he’ll likely redshirt, his presence should have a big positive impact on the quarterback competition if he shows up ready to make an impact immediately.  

Running Back: Tre Mason OR Cameron-Artis Payne OR Corey Grant

No huge surprises here. Going into 2013 this was Mason’s spot to lose (and still is), but an injury early in spring workouts gave Cameron Artis-Payne a chance to take more reps and make a great first impression with Auburn coaches. The good news for all of three of these gentlemen is that in Malzahn’s offense, if you’re even in the running back conversation, you are likely to get a significant amount of carries throughout the season.

Although he isn’t listed on the depth chart, Jay Prosch will be absolutely vital to the running back position on offense. If Malzahn can find a way for him to create lanes for Mason and Payne, it will allow him to give Corey Grant a more versatile role on the offense.  

Slot Receiver: 1st – Quan Bray   2nd – Corey Grant 

Again, no surprises, until you see Grant backing him up. Quan Bray is going to be someone that this team depends on to make big plays this season in order for the offense to have a high level of success. What jumps out at me about this position is its possible versatility. With Bray and Grant both having the ability to play the role of either a running back or receiver on any given play, they have the potential to create huge matchup problems for opposing defenses.

X receiver: 1st – Jaylon Denson  2nd – Sammie Coates

What we have here is the result of a tremendous spring performance. Though Coates has somewhat struggled, the credit belongs to Denson for seizing his opportunity and establishing himself as a legitimate threat on offense. With that said, Coates is a talented playmaker that I’d like to see push for playing time. He’s an upper-classmen and a leader for this team. Congratulations Jaylon. Step it up Sammie.

Tight End/Y Receiver: 1st – C.J. Uzomah  2nd – Brandon Fulse

If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve told someone that C.J. Uzomah was on the cusp of breaking out and becoming Auburn football’s next big thing. He’s got talent and size. He’s basically an Under Armour mannequin. If Uzomah can finally find his niche in Malzahn’s offense, the sky’s the limit for this young man.

Flanker: 1st – Trovon Reed  2nd – Ricardo Louis

I can reason with most of the other positions on the depth chart, but this one seems like an outright challenge from the coaches to Ricardo Louis. I think he’s got the tools to overtake Reed and gain a majority of the playing time between the two of them respectively.

Left Tackle: 1st – Greg Robinson  2nd – Shon Coleman

Left Guard: 1st – Alex Kozan  2nd – Devonte Danzey

Center: 1st – Reese Dismukes  2nd – Tunde Fariyike

Right Guard: 1st – Chad Slade  2nd – Jordan Diamond

Right Tackle: 1st- Patrick Miller  2nd – Avery Young

First of all, how nice is it to finally see Shon Coleman’s name pop up on the depth chart? I can’t wait to see him in action on the field. There’s a lot of young talent in this group. If they can find a rhythm early in the season and grow together throughout the remaining games, Auburn will have one of the best up and coming offensive lines in the country by the season’s end.

Switching to defense…

Defensive Ends: 1st – Dee Ford  2nd- Craig Sanders; 1st – Ken Carter  2nd – Nosa Eguae

Defensive Tackles: 1st – Jeff Whitaker  2nd – Ben Bradley; 1st – Gabe Wright  2nd – Angelo Blackson

I see a lot of names that I’m not sure about, and a few that belong to untested guys. As with most positions on defense, I just want to see more solid and physical play out of this unit. I don’t care what name is on the back of the jerseys that are doing it.

Mike Linebacker: 1st – Kris Frost  2nd – Jake Holland  3rd – LaDarious Owens

Will Linebacker: 1st – Cassanova McKinzy  2nd – Javiere Mitchell  3rd – LaDarious Owens

Frost and McKinzy are two refreshing names to hear at the top an Auburn linebacker depth chart. There will certainly be growing pains, but the linebacker position will be a lot more like what Auburn fans imagine when they think of tough Auburn defenses.

I’m not predicting instant success, but I do think that the athleticism and physicality here will be a substantial improvement over the past two seasons. I look for Owens to make a move in fall camp and possibly overtake either Holland or Mitchell.

Cornerbacks: 1st – Chris Davis  2nd – Ryan White; 1st – Jonathan Mincy  2nd- Jonathan Jones

This should be a solid group for the Tigers this fall. It will be interesting to see how they defend after going through the coaching change.

Star Safety: 1st – Justin Garrett 2nd – Robenson Therezie

Boundary Safety: 1st – Josh Holsey  2nd – Trent Fisher  3rd – Demetruce McNeal

Field Safety: 1st – Jermaine Whitehead  2nd – T.J. Davis  3rd – Demetruce McNeal

I am not at all certain on how this group could/should perform this season. I am not that familiar with the Ellis Johnson defense. McNeal should arrive back in fall camp with a new attitude and his sights set on earning his playing time back. 

8 Comments

  1. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Depth, depth and more depth. That is what we need to hope for. Injuries are a fact in football and having someone to step in without a big loss of skill is essential.

    QB- I agree with you on Marshall and Johnson. Bold prediction-Opening day starter….Nick Marshall

  2. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I think that Wallace is going to be our guy…….

    I’m a bit shocked that Holland is still #2 on the depth chart, but at least he’s not #1. That kid needs to learn a thing or two about hustle.

    It’s going to be along summer folks! At least the first game will be very very interesting.

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      I’m with you there. I’m so damned sick of hearing about Jake Holland I can’t stand it. He is a savvy film watcher? Great, guess what? I watch Auburn game film all the time as well. However, if you put me on the field I wouldn’t do anything productive at all and I would be obliterated. All I’m saying, being savvy is a weak compliment and I get the feeling that Ellis Johnson doesn’t like Holland all that much. With him being at class instead of at practice, he needs to stay off the field and just take the rest of it into the classroom in my view. He just doesn’t need to see the field this season. The more he plays, the more it means a weak defense for Auburn in 2013.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Ellis Johnson said that Holland was a pretty savvy game-student. He’s played a lot of SEC football, and he’ll be out there helping us on key downs next fall, make no mistake!

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      No mistake here trust me. He won’t be all that key for us if we’re going to fulfill our defensive potential.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..And of the non-starters Derrick mentioned, I think Sammie Coates is the guy we NEED to break out, this year. He’s currently lined up behind Denson in the short-side split end spot, but c’mon, man! We know how this is going to work!

    …..We’ll pound the ball for a while with Fulse and Prosch in the game. Then Prosch will get lifted, and they’ll slip Coates into the lineup, in the slot. Like Blake used to do during the 2010 season. Coates vs. a linebacker on the out ‘n’ up, or the smash-corner? Ouch. Mark my words…

  5. WoodrowAU95 says:

    Any feelings about the quality of AU’s DT’s? I just hope there is some improvement there. Seems like Adams might have a chance to contribute as a true freshman.

  6. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I like this lineup. Once again, since time immemorial, our success will be determined by quarterback play. I know, brilliant analysis. Insert dead horse + stick.