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Auburn Football 2017 Post-Signing Day Position Analysis: Defensive Backs

A way too early look at Auburn's 2017 position groups.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

With signing day behind us and a new class of Tigers on board, it's time to turn our attention to what this football team may look like going into the 2017 season. We still have spring practice to go and many of the 2017 recruiting class won't arrive until this summer, but it's the offseason and a time of making up content, so that's what we're doing.

Defensive Backs:

Key Losses:

Joshua Holsey, Jonathan "Rudy" Ford

Key Returnees:

Carlton Davis, Javaris Davis, Tray Matthews, Marlon Character JR, Markell Boston, Jamel Dean, Nick Ruffin, Stephen Roberts, Jeremiah Dinson, Daniel Thomas

Incoming Signees:

Malcolm Askew, Carlito Gonzalez, Traivon Leonard, Jordyn Peters


Losing Josh Holsey and Rudy Ford hurts. When I first think of Auburn's defense for 2017 I think "how are we going to replace those guys?" Then, I remember the depth we've built in the defensive backfield, how young it all is, how experienced they all are, and I feel a whole lot better.

Carlton Davis, Javaris Davis, and Tray Matthews are returning starters. Daniel Thomas got a lot of work in when Rudy Ford was injured (including two interceptions in the Iron Bowl). Jamel Dean will hopefully be healthy and able to play this season. Jeremiah Dinson will be back from his injury suffered in the 2015 Texas A&M game. Stephen Roberts and Nick Ruffin have been pretty good in their playing time. Then we get into the players from the 2016 signing class who haven't played much or at all yet like Jayvaughn Myers and Marlon Character.

This is a pretty stacked unit. There is a lot of talent here and hopefully new defensive backs coach Greg Brown can get the best out of them.

Possible Starters:

CB: Carlton Davis, Javaris Davis

S: Tray Matthews, Stephen Roberts

Nickel: Daniel Thomas