Oct. 2, 2013
Auburn receiver Tony Stevens is making a move on the depth chart (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. - Nosa Eguae's move from defensive end to starting defensive tackle headlined Auburn's new depth chart Wednesday, but the offensive side made some waves with the ascension of receivers Tony Stevens and Brandon Fulse.
Stevens, the true freshman, is listed as co-starter with leading receiver Sammie Coates.
"He's a guy that we really feel like has a chance to be a really good receiver," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. "He was banged-up in fall camp, which put him a little bit behind, but he's a guy you'll see more and more out there."
Fulse is listed to replace the injured Jaylon Denson in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against Ole Miss.
Only two of Auburn's top four receivers are listed as starters. Coates has 11 catches. Quan Bray has seven. Backup Ricardo Louis also has 11 catches and freshman Marcus Davis has 10.
Auburn moved toward that game with an encouraging Wednesday practice, Malzahn said.
"I was real pleased with our leadership," Malzahn said. "It's getting to a point our leadership is starting to set the tone of expectations as far as practice, instead of the coaches, and that's always a good thing moving forward. I liked our energy, and I like our attention to detail today on the field."
He also indicated the depth chart is subject to change.
The possible return of injured defensive backs Chris Davis and Jonathan Jones could shake up the playing rotation even further, though they're not on the depth chart.
"We wanted to see exactly what everybody did and see who was ready and who needed more time," Malzahn said.
But the prospects of playing Davis and Jones are intriguing, especially after going to LSU with a thin secondary.
"It was kind of scary," Malzahn said.
"I think any time you get experienced guys that played, that gives you a shot in the arm."
The depth chart saw the comings (Eguae) and some changes (Angelo Blackson who started the first four games at defensive tackle isn't listed on the two-deep depth chart).
"We had a chance in the off week to start evaluating things," Malzahn said. "That's not to say that won't change, but that's the way we're starting out this game."
Rain is in the forecast Saturday, notable because Auburn was drenched during the first half at LSU as it was falling behind 21-0.
"The good thing is we have experience in the rain and I have got to believe we'll be better the second time than we were the first," Malzahn said. "We didn't handle it very well, but there's nothing like experience."
Charles Goldberg writes for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine