Auburn hits the practice field, today. So, let's pointlessly speculate about what we think the starting line-up will be going into today and what it will be going into the Clemson game.
August 3rd: Golson, Kozan, Dampeer, Smith, Leff
September 3rd: Golson, Kozan, Dampeer, Smith, Leff.
I don't see any movement, here. There's a chance it could happen. Perhaps Texas transfer Darius James clicks and is able to wrestle one of the starting tackle jobs away. Right now, though, barring injury, I think we'll see this as the line-up today and when the team takes the field against Clemson.
August 3rd: Marcus Davis, Tony Stevens, Jason Smith, Kyle Davis
September 3rd: Marcus Davis, Nate Craig-Myers, Jason Smith, Kyle Davis
Yep, I'm predicting two freshmen (true freshmen, at that) will be starting against Clemson. This position could go any number of ways, though. Darius Slayton may show out and take over Smith's role. I don't think so, though.
August 3rd: Jalen Harris
September 3rd: Jalen Harris
Landon Rice may take over by the end of the season, but right now I'm going with experience and knowledge of the system and giving the nod to Jalen Harris. They have similar size and ability. I just hope they're used more when they're in the game than they were last season!
August 3rd: 1a Kamryn Pettway, 1b Chandler Cox
September 3rd: 1a Kamryn Pettway, 1b Chandler Cox
They're both great at what they do. They have similar skill sets. I think we'll be fine with either one in any situation. I think they'll rotate drives in order to stay fresh but keep the same players on the field in each drive to avoid the substitutions.
Jovon Robinson, Kerryon Johnson
Jovon Robinson, Kerryon Johnson I think these two enter practice 1 and 2, and that's the way they'll be for a while. This a dangerous combination for opposing teams. That's especially true if Auburn gets them both on the field at the same time.
WELP. I'd say the running back job is wide open, now. Kerryon goes into it as the starter, but I think we'll see a whole lot of Kamryn Pettway, here. There's a great chance for Malik Miller to step up as a freshman, too. I'm guessing he didn't expect that to happen so soon.
August 3rd: Sean White
September 3rd: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If the season had to start today, it would be Sean White. I truly believe that. There's so much that could happen between now and September, though. If JF3 is able to get rid of whatever turnover issues he had and can be a real threat with his arm, then he's the starter. If he struggles with accuracy/reads or turns the ball over a lot, then you go with White and you go back to the play-calling from Arkansas and Kentucky. With an improved defense and WRs actually catching the football consistently, that's a winning combination.
August 3rd: Marlon Davidson, Devaroe Lawrence, Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson
September 3rd: Byron Cowart, Devaroe Lawrence, Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson
First, as I noted yesterday, this is one position where "starter" isn't going to mean all that much. They're all going to rotate in and out a lot. True freshman Davidson left spring practice as the starter, but Byron Cowart has reportedly redoubled his efforts. I think he finally shines and steps in as the starter in Game 1. They'll both get quite a bit of playing time, though.
August 3rd: T.J. Neal, Tre Williams, Deshaun Davis
September 3rd: T.J. Neal, Tre Williams, Paul James III
For this one, I really have no clue how much Auburn will show 2, 3, or 4 LB sets. So, there's all sorts of ways I could go with this. I just decided to pick three players I could see starting if we are in a 4-3. The 3rd LB is interchangeable, as well. I honestly put different names in this one just to remind everyone that we do have some other players at the position who are capable.
Jeff Holland was more of a pass rush specialist last season, but he's another name to possibly look out for. Davis got a lot of praise in spring and could be poised for a break out season. Paul James III was a JUCO DL pass rusher, but the official site lists him as a linebacker. There are tons of possibilities here, and, unfortunately, we know so little about almost every one of them that it's a toss-up beyond Neal and Tre Williams.
August 3rd: Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Josh Holsey, Stephen Roberts, Rudy Ford
September 3rd: Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Stephen Roberts, Tray Matthews, Rudy Ford
This is another position group that could go so many different ways. Josh Holsey is coming off an injury. So is Tray Matthews. Stephen Roberts played well last season in relief of Matthews. There's a graduate transfer coming in at cornerback (Marshall Taylor, from Miami-Ohio) who could challenge Jamel Dean and Javaris Davis for the job opposite Carlton Davis. Rudy Ford is a lock to start somewhere, but if the Tigers are in a 4 DB set, he may take over one of the Safety spots rather than come off the field. When the Tigers are playing 5 DBs, he'll be the Nickel.
I'd be happy with any number of combinations, honestly. After a few seasons of recruiting some high-ranked DBs, we're starting to see it pay off with talent and depth. Any number of combinations the Tigers put on the field could be very effective.
The Starting 11
So how do I think the team looks like on the very first drive against Clemson?
QB: No Idea
RB: Jovon Robinson, Kerryon Johnson
OL: Golson, Kozan, Dampeer, Smith, Leff
H-Back: Kamryn Pettway
WR: Marcus Davis, Jason Smith, Kyle Davis
DL: Cowart, Lawrence, Adams, Lawson
LB: Neal, Williams
DB: C. Davis, Dean, Holsey, Matthews, Ford
How about y'all? What do you see the team looking like?