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Boobee Whitlow to Transfer — What Now?

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Cadillac Williams has some decisions to make.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today we got whispers that Boobee Whitlow was no longer going to be part of the Auburn football team, but those whispers turned into fact when it was reported that Whitlow would end up in the transfer portal.

We’ll be honest, Boobee served his purpose for the past two seasons as the feature tailback in Auburn’s offense. However, it was fairly apparent that he’d reached his ceiling, and that possibly more talented backs waited in the wings. Auburn’s crowded backfield didn’t help matters, as speculation began to brew regarding possible transfers from anywhere among the ranks.

In fact, AU Nerd called it when he wrote his “Stupid Early Depth Chart” about a month ago. He surmised that at least one of the names on the Tiger tailback list wouldn’t make it to the fall. He was right, but we didn’t believe it would be Boobee. Here’s the list before today:

  • #28 JaTarvious Whitlow | 6’0” | 210 lbs | rJunior —OR—
  • #3 D.J. Williams | 5’10” | 216 lbs | Sophomore
  • #8 Shaun Shivers | 5’7” | 179 lbs | Junior
  • #22 Harold Joiner | 6’4” | 215 lbs | rSophomore
  • #21 Mark Antony-Richards | 6’1” | 195 lbs | rFreshman
  • Tank Bigsby | 6’0” | 206 lbs | Freshman

And now...

  • #28 JaTarvious Whitlow | 6’0” | 210 lbs | rJunior —OR—
  • #3 D.J. Williams | 5’10” | 216 lbs | Sophomore
  • #8 Shaun Shivers | 5’7” | 179 lbs | Junior
  • #22 Harold Joiner | 6’4” | 215 lbs | rSophomore
  • #21 Mark Antony-Richards | 6’1” | 195 lbs | rFreshman
  • Tank Bigsby | 6’0” | 206 lbs | Freshman

We saw the potential of D.J. Williams to turn into a feature back, with his performance against LSU turning into one of the offensive highlights of the season. Now he’ll begin spring as the absolute top dog in the pecking order, but there are some unknowns that we’ll have to wait to see.

The Chad Morris offense (and it’s going to be the Chad Morris offense) is going to be different than Gus’ attack. I can only imagine that we’re going to see the same guys on the field for different packages and formations. Backs are going to have to be versatile. Shaun Shivers won’t be the speed sweep guy, Joiner won’t just be the wildcat/receiver guy, Williams won’t just be the standard runner. Everyone’s going to have to be multi-faceted.

What we also don’t know is how the two freshmen — Mark Antony-Richards and Tank Bigsby — are going to fare.

The real wildcards though are at the bottom of the list. Richards is a former top 100 recruit who has drawn comparisons to Kerryon Johnson. Tank is a 5* who Gus Malzahn called a “one play drive” type of back. Both have the look of future stars for the Tigers. The question is are they ready now? Bigsby will be on campus early so both he and Richards will have a chance to prove they are this spring. Don’t be surprised if a name or two above them decides to bolt following spring ball when they see the writing on the wall.

Look at our regular old NostradAUmus in AU Nerd with the section above. He called the transfer of someone above him (maybe not Boobee, but still), and I think we’ll see something special from one of the freshmen when they’re able to hit the field this spring.

Gus Malzahn announced that spring practice begins March 16th, and barring another Final Four run, we’ll have a main storyline to follow as the offense develops under Morris’ direction. We’ve got the talent and the bodies now, so the possibilities are endless. War Eagle.