Oct. 3, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn released an updated depth chart on Wednesday. There were some interesting moves on both sides of the ball.
Following is my breakdown of the new offensive depth chart. I’ll look at the defense Friday.
1. Nick Marshall, 2. Jonathan Wallace
My take: One of the more surprising things I’ve seen is some fans complaining about Marshall. I believe his progress has been not much short of remarkable. And I expect him to continue to get better. Wallace is a very reliable guy who will be ready if called. Freshman Jeremy Johnson isn’t listed on the depth chart and isn’t likely to play this season.
1. Tre Mason, 2. Cameron Artis-Payne, 3. Corey Grant
My take: Mason looked like a big-time SEC running back in Auburn’s loss to LSU. Of course, he’s looked like a big-time SEC running back just about every time he’s had enough carries to do it. He’s had some ball security issues that must be resolved. Artis-Payne is a powerful and fast guy. Grant is one of the faster players in college football. All three have major roles to play.
1. Jay Prosch, 2. Gage Batten
Prosch is an impressive person and impressive player. He gets better at blocking in space, a new thing for him, with every game. Batten has many of the same qualities Prosch has. His time will come next season.
1. C.J. Uzomah, 2. Brandon Fulse
My take: Both are the kinds of tight ends Malzahn likes. They can play like traditional tight ends, they can split out and become wide receivers, they can play in the slot and they can even line up in the backfield.
1. Sammie Coates or Tony Stevens
My take: I’m not surprised Stevens is moving up the depth chart. He might have more pure talent than any of Auburn’s receivers. I would be surprised if he passed Coates, who is on the verge of a breakout season.
1. Quan Bray, 2. Trovon Reed
My take: Bray has been a reliable player since his freshman year, and his speed makes him a long-distance threat. Reed, to his credit, is playing hard without the ball and not complaining that not many passes have come his way. I’m surprised that freshman Marcus Davis, who caught four passes on the dramatic game-winning drive against Mississippi State, isn’t listed. That doesn’t mean, however, that he won’t play.
1. Brandon Fulse, 2. Melvin Ray
My take: Fulse, as referenced earlier, is a versatile guy that is taking on an increased role in wake of Jaylen Denson’s season-ending knee injury. Ray is a former professional baseball player and the oldest player on the team. Could his time have come? We’ll see.
1. Greg Robinson, 2. Shon Coleman.
My take: Robinson will play on Sundays. No doubt about it. Coleman might well do the same.
1. Chad Slade, 2. Jordan Diamond
My take: Auburn coaches say Slade had, by far, his best game of the season at LSU. Diamond is getting better, but he needs to get quicker to become a starter. That can only be accomplished working with strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell.
1. Reese Dismukes, 2. Tunde Fariyike
My take: Dismukes is the SEC’s best, in my opinion. Fariyike is a reliable backup whose only real issue has been occasional problems with shotgun snaps.
1. Alex Kozan, 2. Devonte Danzey
My take: Kozan, a redshirt freshman, gets better with every game. I’ll be surprised if he’s not an All-SEC performer before he’s done at Auburn. Danzey has talent, but like many junior college transfer offensive linemen, he had much to learn when he arrived.
1. Pat Miller, 2. Avery Young
My take: Miller is a very talented guy who has a lot of experience for a sophomore. Young is also a very talented guy who started the first three games of last season, but it’s going to be hard for him to get around Miller. I expect that, next season, they’ll find a place in the lineup for both of them.
Coming Friday: The defense
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: