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August 29, 2011

Thoughts on Auburn’s Week 1 depth chart

Auburn released its depth chart today. Get to it by clicking here. Now, some thoughts:

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  • The first thing that jumps off the page is Onterio McCalebb being listed as the starter ahead of Mike Dyer. Auburn very clearly put “ors” into its listing, so it very easily could have put an “or” between its two featured runners. Is this because Dyer missed some time? Is it a Week 1 nod to the older player? Is it a disciplinary thing with Dyer? Or will the designation even matter once the game starts and both get significant carries? Not sure. But it is odd.
  • Tre Mason as the No. 3 back is no surprise. He had a better August than Anthony Morgan. No Mike Blakely on this list would tell me the NCAA decision probably isn’t going to go his way.
  • The offensive line from left to right is: Brandon Mosley, Jared Cooper, Reese Dismukes, John Sullen and Chad Slade. Dismukes everyone figured would start. I thought Sullen’s RG spot would be vulnerable, especially considering Blake Burgess had been working there to cross train and freshman Christian Westerman has done some nice things at backup LG. Slade starting over senior A.J. Greene is a little bit of a surprise, but Greene missed so much time with an undisclosed injury early in camp that it can”t be too much of a shock.
  • I get the feeling the offensive line spots aren’t set in stone. Expect some shuffling before the end of the year.
  • H-backs are Philip Lutzenkirchen, Brandon Fulse and Ladarious Phillips. Don’t know if that’s a rotating deal based on the situation. It seems like the coaches still don’t totally trust Phillips there.
  • Receiver spots are as expected, except for Travante Stallworth being atop one of the positions. (Then again, Trooper Taylor said he likes how Stallworth is always doing the right thing.) It looks like it’s an inside spot, since C.J. Uzomah is behind him. (Not an outside spot as I tweeted earlier.) Figured Trovon Reed for that spot, but he’s on the outside working behind Quindarius Carr from the looks of it. Remember, Emory Blake will play all over, so even though DeAngelo Benton is listed as a backup, he should get time.
  • Also of note: freshman Quan Bray made the list after not making Trooper’s 7-man circle of trust last week. Looks like he might have come on a little bit to make the cut.
  • Not too many surprises on defense. We knew a lot of young defensive tackles would be in the mix. Three — Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson and Devaunte Sigler – are true freshmen.
  • Justin Delaine is the third power end option behind Nosa Eguae and Craig Sanders.. Thought we’d see Joel Bonomolo somewhere on this list, but he’s not there.
  • Freshman Justin Garrett makes the two-deep as a backup to Jonathan Evans at one of the outside spots. Thought Jawara White would be in the mix there, but he’s not on the list.
  • LOTS of cornerbacks listed. Auburn went as far as listing a nickelback, which tells you the Tigers will use that formation quite a bit this year.
  • Kind of a surprise to see Ryan Smith along with Ikeem Means as backups to Demetruce McNeal. Hadn’t heard his name too much when it came to the safety rotation.
  • Auburn appears to have cut ties with Carr as the punt returner. Reed and Bray are the only two listed there. I guess the Tigers saw enough from Carr last year or are thinking his increased role at receiver makes it wise to give someone else a shot there.
  • That Bray and Mason are both listed as kick returners is not surprising. Bray being listed first kind of is. You’d think McCalebb, with his experience, would be the first one listed.
  • Apparently, it’s Chris Brooks, not Chandler like it was last year. At least that’s what the depth chart says.
  • There are 17 true freshman on the depth chart, which goes three deep at spots. If you include redshirt freshmen, there are 27. That’s a lot.
  • A breakdown of the starters: 1 true freshman, 1 redshirt freshman, 7 sophomores, 9 juniors, 4 seniors.


  1. …..Thanks, Andy. As always, we appreciate your efforts! Thoughts:

    …..From last year and A-Day, McCalebb is better than Dyer in every facet except power-running. I think coaches have worried about his durability in the past. But extrapolating from the past, the order is little shock. That said, I’d tend toward a strategy of pound-pound-pound with Dyer, then shock ‘em with the speedy McCalebb.

    …..I hate to see A. J. Greene not in the starting lineup at tackle. I thought he looked the best of any of them on A-Day. I remember Lemonier and Ford making some of the others look silly last April..

    …..Big L. Phillips is dangerous with the ball. He also looked pretty tentative as a blocker last spring.

    …..Can’t say I’m surprised on the punt returner decision. Had Q a couple of drops on A-Day, even with no live coverage. I hope Reed’s ready. Given our problems the past couple of years fielding punts, expect our first few opponents to try and blow him up.

    …..Color me shocked as anyone that Quan Bray is listed as the top kick return man. Here’s hoping that we’re all pleasantly surprised come game time.

    Comment by Acid Reign — August 29, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

  2. How soon we forget: Last year Fannin was “listed” as the #1 RB, but he didn’t start a single game and had many fewer carries than Dyer and McCalebb, even before he (Fannin) got hurt. Look for Dyer to tote most of the load and O-Mac to burn ‘em for 10 to 12 carries a game.

    Comment by MikeP — August 30, 2011 @ 1:45 am

  3. PS: I’m more worried about linebacker than any other position, offense or defense. It’s thin there and unlike many other positions there aren’t a bunch of highly talented players waiting for a turn. Frost getting hurt was a big setback for our LB corps.

    Comment by MikeP — August 30, 2011 @ 1:51 am

  4. Andy, is Eric Mack really 315 or is noone from the Ath Dept willing to stand close to him on the scales?

    Comment by JoeinFP — August 30, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  5. i heard bonomolo has a small back injury and must sit out first few games.

    Comment by ed walter — August 31, 2011 @ 1:28 am

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