Aug. 8, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - With the first scrimmage of the preseason in the books, some things are starting to clear up for the Auburn football team. But lots of questions remain to be answered before the Tigers open their season against Washington State.
Here are some frequently asked questions and my attempts at answers:
Q: Has there been any movement in the quarterback race?
A: Probably, but it's a closely guarded secret. Things should start to come into focus by the end of Saturday's scrimmage.
Q: When will a starter be named?
A: My guess is it will happen by the middle of next week, but that is a guess and only a guess. It's not really based on anything of substance.
Q: Will Corey Grant finally get a chance to contribute?
A: Everyone says he will. What his role will be is another question.
Q: What incoming freshmen have shown they could make early contributions?
A: Defensive ends Carl Lawson and Elijah Daniel almost certainly are going to play. Defensive tackle Montravius Adams, wide receivers Tony Stevens and Marcus Davis, cornerback Kamryn Melton, star Mackenro Alexander and running backs Rudy Ford and Peyton Barber all have performed well. Jeremy Johnson is one of the more physically imposing freshman quarterbacks I've seen. Will he play if he doesn't start? Don't know.
Who will start on the offensive line?
A: I would bet on Greg Robinson at left tackle, Alex Kozan at left guard, Reese Dismukes at center and Chad Slade at right guard. At right tackle, it could be sophomore Avery Young, sophomore Pat Miller or even redshirt freshman Shon Coleman.
Q: What linebackers have stood out in camp?
A: According to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, Kris Frost, Jake Holland and Cassanova McKinzy have performed well. Junior college transfer Kenny Flowers, junior LaDarius Owens, sophomore Anthony Swain and freshman Cameron Toney have all had their moments. JaViere Mitchell, who was having a good spring before suffering a concussion, needs to gain weight. He's listed at 205 pounds.
Q: How will the running back rotation work?
A: I look for junior Tre Mason and junior college transfer Cameron Artis-Payne to be one of the top one-two punches in the SEC. Grant could play the speed back role Onterio McCalebb played in the past, play slot receiver or play as a traditional tailback. It's too early to say what if any role the freshmen will play.
Q: Who are the top wide receivers?
A: Signs point to Quan Bray, Sammie Coates, Ricardo Louis and Trovon Reed having the potential for breakout seasons. Jaylon Denson was dynamite in the spring. We haven't heard as much about him in preseason camp, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Really, almost any wide receiver on the roster could play a major role.
Q: How much trouble does the loss of tight end Ricky Parks cause?
A: Some, but not a lot. It mostly impacts depth. Parks would probably have been Jay Prosch's backup. Unless Prosch is injured, his backup isn't likely to play a whole lot anyway.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: