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Updated Look at Auburn’s 2021 Roster

Keeping track of the current state of Auburn’s 2021 roster.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

In late May, I broke down Auburn’s scholarship distribution following a lot of portal action. The action has slowed but there has still been some additions and attrition since that post. With the portal deadline having passed (any entrances now will have to sit out in 2021), let’s take another look at Auburn’s roster for this season.

Once again, those marked with an asterisk are seniors who are using their 6th year of eligibility and will not count against Auburn’s 85 total roster spots. I also want to note to make it easier to keep track of whether a player is a freshman or sophomore, I decided to just move them up as normal like Auburn’s official roster decided to do.

Let me know in the comments if I missed anybody.

Quarterback (4)

  • Seniors: Grant Loy*
  • Juniors: Bo Nix
  • Sophomores: TJ Finley
  • Freshman: Dematrius Davis

No change here. Auburn’s QB room is set for the 2021 season.

Running Back (4)

  • Seniors: Shaun Shivers
  • Juniors: N/A
  • Sophomores: Tank Bigsby
  • Freshman: Jarquez Hunter, Jordon Ingram

Briefly Auburn had 5 scholarship backs on the roster following Jordon Ingram’s commitment but last week Devan Barrett elected to enter the portal. I don’t blame the former blue chip. Odds weren’t great he’d have a chance to see much action this fall. He’s been a great teammate despite not getting many opportunities at running back and switching to defense to help the team. He’s earned the opportunity to see meaningful playing time to close out his career.

Wide Receiver (10)

  • Seniors: Demetris Robertson*, Caylin Newton, Shedrick Jackson
  • Juniors: N/A
  • Sophomores: Elijah Canion, Ze’Vian Capers, Kobe Hudson, Malcolm Johnson Jr., Ja’Varrius Johnson
  • Freshman: Tar’Varish Dawson, J.J. Evans

One of the bigger disappointments since this last update was the news that 2021 signee Hal Presley was entering the portal. The Texas native only lasted a week on campus before getting home sick and transferring to Baylor. I was very high on Presley’s upside and believed he would be an early contributor for the Tigers.

The good news is Auburn was able to augment that loss with a big time addition. It was reported all off-season that one of Bryan Harsin’s biggest objectives was to find a veteran wide receiver to help lead the Tigers’ young but talented wideouts. He got his man last week when former 5-star Demetris Robertson committed. He’ll have a chance to compete for a starting gig this fall but at minimum he adds some much needed SEC experience to Auburn’s WR room.

Tight End (5)

  • Seniors: John Samuel Shenker
  • Juniors: N/A
  • Sophomores: Luke Deal, Brandon Frazier, Tyler Fromm
  • Freshman: Landen King

Auburn’s coaching staff feels very good about the tight end room. Not just for 2021 but for 2022 and beyond following Micah Riley-Ducker’s commitment. Don’t be surprised to see Landen King get some wide receiver reps this fall. He’s athletic enough you could use him out wide some to add more depth to a short handed wide receiver corps.

Offensive Line (15)

  • Seniors: Nick Brahms, Brenden Coffey, Brandon Council, Brodarious Hamm, Alec Jackson, Tashawn Manning, Austin Troxell
  • Juniors: Jalil Irvin, Kameron Stutts, Kilian Zierer
  • Sophomores: Tate Johnson, Keiondre Jones
  • Freshman: Avery Jernigan, Garner Langlo, Colby Smith

The one big knock on Harsin’s off-season was the inability to find a starting caliber offensive tackle in the transfer portal. To be fair, there weren’t many available but the few that did emerge (Wanya Morris, Obinna Eze, Darnell Wright, Dare Rosenthal, Stacey Wilkins) were either not pursued or did not have much interest in the Tigers. Reportedly. Auburn’s staff doesn’t feel as down on the Tigers’ offensive line room as the fanbase does but I imagine they are probably a little disappointed they couldn’t find some more proven talent for up front.

The bigger concern I have right now is the lack of traction Auburn is getting with their top 2022 offensive line targets. Will Friend has a strong track record of signing big time OL recruits but thus far he’s had trouble making up ground on some big names in the southeast. It doesn’t help that this is a down cycle in terms of OT talent in the southeast. Auburn might have to go the JUCO route again this cycle to find OL help. While I expect a few of Auburn’s seniors to use their extra year of eligibility in 2022 it would be a surprise if all 7 seniors returned. That room is extremely top heavy right now so Auburn desperately needs to get the next wave of starters on campus soon.

Defensive Line (14)

  • Seniors: Marquis Burks, Tony Fair*, Tyrone Truesdell*
  • Juniors: Dre Butler
  • Sophomores: Marcus Harris, J.J. Pegues, Colby Wooden, Jeremiah Wright, Zykeivous Walker
  • Freshman: Daniel Foster-Allen, Lee Hunter, Ian Mathews, Tobechi Okoli, Marquis Robinson

I am excited about the upside of this group. We all know Colby Wooden is a big time player but for this unit to reach the high expectations Auburn fans have for it in 2021 they need guys like Marquis Burks, Dre Butler, Zykeivous Walker, and Tyrone Truesdell to have big falls. The additions of Tony Fair and Marcus Harris help shore up some losses to the portal earlier this year.

Outside Linebacker (6)

  • Seniors: T.D. Moultry*
  • Juniors: Derick Hall, Eku Leota, Caleb Johnson
  • Sophomores: Romello Height
  • Freshman: Dylan Brooks

It’s been awhile since Auburn has scared opponents with its pass rush from the edge. That could be changing in 2021. Derick Hall looks poised to have a big junior season. Northwestern transfer Eku Leota has more career sacks than anyone on Auburn’s roster and former top 100 recruit Dylan Brooks will have a chance to compete for early playing time. There’s still a chance Auburn could add another transfer if they decide to pursue former blue chippers in Alabama transfer King Mwikuta or Texas A&M transfer Ke’Shun Brown.

Inside Linebacker (8)

  • Seniors: Zakoby McClain, Chandler Wooten*
  • Juniors: Owen Pappoe
  • Sophomores: Kameron Brown, Cam Riley, Wesley Steiner, Desmond Tisdol
  • Freshman: Joko Willis

Auburn will enter the 2021 season with one of the best linebacker duos in all of college football. The bigger question will be who can step up behind them and be ready to take over in 2022. Really excited to see what Joko Willis brings to that room.

Cornerback (9)

  • Seniors: Malcolm Askew, Traivon Leonard*, Roger McCreary
  • Juniors: Dreshun Miller, Nehemiah Pritchett
  • Sophomores: Eric Reed Jr, Jaylin Simpson, Roterrius Torrence
  • Freshman: AD Diamond

It’s hard not to get excited about Auburn’s cornerback room. The Tigers return their top 3 corners in Roger McCreary, Jaylin Simpson, and Nehemiah Pritchett. They then added one of the top corners in country via the portal in Dreshun Miller. Between those four, Auburn should be in good shape to match up against the multiple elite passing attacks they’ll face this fall. Auburn lost two JUCO corners to the portal but had a big pickup late when they flipped Ro Torrence from Tennessee.

Safety (8)

  • Seniors: Bydarrius Knighten, Smoke Monday
  • Juniors: Zion Puckett
  • Sophomores: Ladarius Tennison
  • Freshman: Cayden Bridges, Juwon Gaston, Ahmari Harvey, Donovan Kaufman

In total, Derek Mason added four safeties this off-season, three of which have five years to play four. I am interested to see how he decides to mix and match Smoke, Knighten, Tennison, and Kaufman this fall.

Special Teams (2)

  • Seniors: Anders Carlson
  • Juniors: N/A
  • Sophomores: Oscar Chapman
  • Freshman: N/A

No additions needed here but Auburn did secure an important commitment in the 2022 class last week landing the #1 kicker in Alex McPherson.

Total Numbers

Auburn has 85 scholarship athletes on the roster for 2021 but 7 of them are “super seniors” meaning they are using their extra year of eligibility due to COVID. Those players do not count against the 85 total so technically Auburn could add 7 more players via the portal. I think that’s unlikely and those scholarships will go to walk-on contributors such as Trey Elston. Barring any late surprises, Auburn’s 2021 roster looks set.

War Eagle!