Auburn Football Releases Depth Chart for Clemson Game
Auburn Quarterback Sean White (Photo: Auburn Athletics)
Highlights of the initial depth chart:
Sean White was announced the starter last Thursday, but no word as to who would serve as backup. Malzahn did not give any indication of who QB2 would be during his press conference on Tuesday. “There’s a good chance all of them will play throughout the season. You’ve got to be prepared for that." said Malzahn. "But like I said, the only thing I’m going to tell you right now is Sean White is our starter, and we’re expecting Sean to play well. As far as two and three is concerned, we’re not ready to say who will be the first one in. I think both of the guys are good at certain things.”
Sophomore Kerryon Johnson will get the nod as the Tigers starting running back following the dismissal of Jovon Robinson. Malzahn feels that Johnson is the type of running back that carry the load. There have been talks of Malik Miller and Kam Martin getting snaps as well this season, and will be featured in different roles as the season plays out.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
The receiving corp will be young this season, with Marcus Davis being the only upperclassman in the starting lineup. Sophomore's Ryan Davis, Stanton Truitt, and Will Hastings should see significant playing time against Clemson.
The youngest of the bunch, redshirt freshman Darius Slayton, will get the start at one of the wide out positions. Malzahn is excited about the future of Auburn's wide receivers. "The future at wide receiver is very exciting. Once those guys do get comfortable, it’s going to be a lot of fun.” Youth crosses over to the tight end position as well. Sophomore Jalen Harris and Freshman Landon Rice will split time at Tight End.
Unlike at wide receiver, Auburn will have an experienced offensive line this season. Three seniors (Alex Kozan, Xavier Dampeer, Robert Leff), and two juniors (Austin Golson, Braden Smith) will anchor the line for the Tigers.
"Luckily, I have the privilege of practing against probably what is the best defensive end, maybe in college football." That was Auburn offensive lineman Robert Leff's response when asked on Tuesday about going up against Clemson's defensive line
on Saturday. Who is he talking about? Carl Lawson, of course. Lawson returns to the defensive line this season for his junior year, following a hip injury suffered in 2015's season opener against Louisville. Montravius Adams will return to the line as well. The senior posted 44 tackles last season, in which he started all 13 games. The big surprise of the day, was the announcement of Marlon Davidson as a starter at defensive end. The freshman from Greenville, Alabama enrolled early, which gave him a clear advantage in earning a starting position. “He had a very good spring. He got here early, and any time a freshman gets here early, they have a chance to show us what they can do." says Coach Malzahn of Davidson. "He made an immediate in the spring that has carried over in fall camp. He has an opportunity to start as a true freshman which is rare.” Byron Cowart and Paul James III are expected to get some playing time this season as well.
Depth is key at this position. Deshaun Davis, Tre Williams, Montavious Atkinson, and TJ Neal all could see time at linebacker on Saturday. Darrell Williams has the only spot wrapped up, at strong side.
The arrest of Stephen Roberts last week played a role in who would get a spot at safety. Coach Malzahn announced on Tuesday that Roberts will not play against Clemson, and could sit for some time. Rudy Ford and Tray Matthews will start against Clemson at safety, with Ford expected to get time at nickel as well. As far as the corners are concerned, the Davis boys will hold it down. Carlton and Javaris will play corner, with Joshua Holsey getting some time.
No surprises on who handles kicks and punts. Daniel Carlson will kick, while Kevin Phillips will handle punting duties.
Rudy Ford and Kerryon Johnson will field kicks against Clemson, while Marcus Davis will return punts.
Auburn Football opens the season on Saturday against the Clemson Tigers, at 8PM inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Carl Lawson- USA Today/Shanna Lockwood
Marcus Davis- Auburn Athletics
Daniel Carlson- Auburn Athletics