A lot is being made about the starters on Auburn's recently released depth chart being young, and somewhat inexperienced. Let's break this down, and see if there really is anything to be concerned about.
First I want to state that as far as the running backs, and wide receivers go, there is little change except maybe Trovon Reed being named ahead of Travante Stallworth. Stallworth as you may recall was the starter last season. Then he suffered an injury that slowed him throughout the rest of the year. Reed has been a promise waiting to be broken.
Recently however we have learned that Trovon Reed has gained some much needed weight without losing any of his breakaway speed. A great piece of news. We hope this means he will be more healthy through the season ahead.
The running backs are what we saw against Virginia in the Chic-fil-A Bowl game in January. With the added depth of Mike Blakely and Cory Grant, Auburn should be in great shape for 2012. That is a huge plus.
With the help of rivals.com we can look at the ratings of Auburn's backfield and receiver positions.
QB Kiehl Frazier 4*
WR Trovon Reed 4*
WR Emory Blake 4*
WR Quan Bray 4*
RB Onterio McCalebb 4*
RB Tre Mason 4*
RB Mike Blakely 4*
RB Cory Grant 4*
TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen 4*
These are some impressive ratings. My guess is that this will be the most highly rated combined starting lineup at these positions in Auburn football history.
Looking at the offensive line we see that the stars are much the same. It is worth noting that Auburn has consistently landed among the top offensive line classes in the country in the past two recruiting cycles. Evidenced by the ratings of the backup at each position.
Left Tackle Greg Robinson 4*
Right Tackle Avery Young 4*
Left Guard John Sullen 3*
Right Guard Chad Slade3*
Center Tunde Fariyike 2*
Left Tackle Shon Coleman 5*
Left Guard Alex Kozan 4*
Right Guard Christian Westerman 4*
Right Tackle Patrick Miller 4*
With John Sullen being tabbed as the backup at center.
Quality abounds in the trenches on the attack side of the ball for Auburn.
Tomorrow we will look at the defensive side of the ball, and the starters for the opener against Clemson. Until then...