AU FB Oregon presser

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn talks during a press conference on Tuesday.

AUBURN – Auburn has an arsenal of running backs ready to run, four young linebackers eager to flex their muscle, and all the team’s other chess pieces in place as the playing board gets set for Saturday’s showdown with Oregon.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn released his Week 1 depth chart on Tuesday, naming clear-cut starters at most positions while keeping options open at others, all as the Auburn coaches finalize their gameplan in the would-be war rooms inside the athletics complex on campus.

Sophomore rising star JaTarvious Whitlow will be the first man out on the field representing the team’s stable of running backs, Malzahn said Tuesday, though six total running backs were listed as co-starters on his first depth chart.

On defense, four linebackers all figure to play, just as linebackers coach Travis Williams said during preseason camp, including touted five-star freshman Owen Pappoe.

They’ll join another coveted freshman, legacy quarterback Bo Nix, out on the field at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday. Nix was named Auburn’s starter behind center last week.

“We want to make our fans proud, our former players proud, with the way we play: that hard-nosed, physical, disciplined, good Auburn football,” Malzahn said. “That’s been our message, and that won’t just be the message going into this game, but all season.”

Auburn’s all-senior offensive line is all set, and veteran receivers Will Hastings and Eli Stove are in starting spots at full speed after their twin ACL surgeries in the spring of 2018.

Auburn has veteran standouts on the other side of the line on defense, with NFL prospects Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson anchoring the group, while another rising star and a redshirt junior, Nick Coe, stands as the Tigers’ weaponized wild card.

Coe is all over the depth chart, as a second-teamer at two defensive tackle spots and at defensive end, and he’s been granted a starting spot on the preseason depth chart at outside linebacker — an intangible position given Auburn’s base defense in the 4-2-5 nickel.

Coe played the ‘Buck’ defensive end position last year, and in the absence of departing former starter Dontavius Russell, he’s worked inside and out during the spring and the fall.

Junior Tyrone Truesdell is the new starter at tackle opposite Brown, while Big Kat Bryat and T.D. Moultry are named co-starters at the ‘Buck,’ opposite the clear starter in Davidson at the other defensive end spot.

“Nick is going to move around. Nick is a starter,” Malzahn said of Coe, who figures to play a starter’s helping of snaps in games this season as the defensive line rotates bodies. “With different personnel groupings they give us, he’ll move around. He gives us a lot of flexibility.

“He can play outside, he can play inside, he can play off the ball. He’s a very versatile player that gives our defense a lot of flexibility.”

At running backs, the six listed co-starters are: Whitlow, senior speedster Kam Martin, junior bruiser Malik Miller, sophomore track star Shaun Shivers, touted freshman D.J. Williams and versatile redshirt freshman Harold Joiner.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in all of them and they all could possibly play,” Malzahn said. “Boobee Whitlow will be the first guy that goes out, but we can possibly play them all. We’re impressed with all of them.”

At linebacker, juniors K.J. Britt and Chandler Wooten are named co-starters at middle linebacker and Pappoe and rising sophomore Zakoby McClain are listed as co-starters at the other linebacker spot, termed the ‘Money’ backer in Auburn’s system.

Williams promised all four would see the field in the opener, with Britt and Wooten showing their mettle as the ‘quarterback’ of the defense, and fans getting their first chance to see Pappoe along with McClain.

Returners Noah Igbinoghene, Javaris Davis and Christian Tutt are all starting at corner, with twin powers in the secondary Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas set to start as opposite safeties on the back end.

Graduate transfer Jay Jay Wilson is listed as a co-starter next to senior Spencer Nigh at the H-Back and tight end spot.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

10 BO NIX (6-2, 207, Fr.)

1 Joey Gatewood (6-5, 233, RFr.)

RUNNING BACK

28 JATARVIOUS WHITLOW (6-0, 210, So.)

-OR-

9 KAM MARTIN (5-10, 189, Sr.)

-OR-

32 MALIK MILLER (5-11, 235, Jr.)

-OR-

8 SHAUN SHIVERS (5-7, 179, So.)

-OR-

3 D.J. WILLIAMS (5-10, 216, Fr.)

-OR-

22 HAROLD JOINER (6-4, 215, RFr.)

TIGHT END/H-BACK

99 SPENCER NIGH (6-0, 267, Sr.)

-OR-

42 JAY JAY WILSON (6-3, 249, Sr.)

47 John Samuel Shenker (6-3, 248, So.)

-OR-

22 Harold Joiner (6-4, 215, RFr.)

WIDE RECEIVER

18 SETH WILLIAMS (6-3, 224, So.)

-OR-

5 ANTHONY SCHWARTZ (6-0, 179, So.)

WIDE RECEIVER

80 SAL CANNELLA (6-5, 228, Sr.)

11 Shedrick Jackson (6-0, 198, So.)

WIDE RECEIVER

12 ELI STOVE (6-0, 188, Jr.)

19 Matthew Hill (6-1, 190, RFr.)

WIDE RECEIVER

33 WILL HASTINGS (5-10, 174, Sr.)

14 Zach Farrar (6-4, 210, Jr.)

LEFT TACKLE

76 PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO (6-7, 305, Sr.)

66 Bailey Sharp (6-5, 305, Sr.)

LEFT GUARD

77 MARQUEL HARRELL (6-3, 305, Sr.)

56 Tashawn Manning (6-3, 326, So.)

CENTER

54 KALEB KIM (6-4, 300, Sr.)

52 Nick Brahms (6-3, 301, So.)

RIGHT GUARD

64 MIKE HORTON (6-4, 325, Sr.)

50 Jalil Irvin (6-2, 299, RFr.)

RIGHT TACKLE

71 JACK DRISCOLL (6-5, 296, Sr.)

59 Brodarious Hamm (6-5, 312, So.)

 

DEFENSE

 

BUCK DL

1 BIG KAT BRYANT (6-5, 247, Jr.)

-OR-

55 T.D. MOULTRY (6-2, 243, Jr.)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

5 DERRICK BROWN (6-5, 318, Sr.)

91 Nick Coe (6-5, 291, Jr.)

97 Gary Walker (6-0, 283, Sr.)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

94 TYRONE TRUESDELL (6-2, 310, Jr.)

91 Nick Coe (6-5, 291, Jr.)

8 Coynis Miller (6-2, 312, So.)

DEFENSIVE END

3 MARLON DAVIDSON (6-3, 278, Sr.)

91 Nick Coe (6-5, 291, Jr.)

29 Derick Hall (6-3, 230, Fr.)

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

91 NICK COE (6-3, 291, Jr.)

31 Chandler Wooten (6-2, 228, Jr.)

LINEBACKER

10 OWEN PAPPOE (6-1, 219, Fr.)

-OR-

35 ZAKOBY MCCLAIN (6-0, 210, So.)

LINEBACKER

33 K.J. BRITT (6-0, 236, Jr.)

-OR-

31 CHANDLER WOOTEN (6-2, 228, Jr.)

CORNERBACK

4 NOAH IGBINOGHENE (5-11, 200, Jr.)

23 Roger McCreary (6-0, 188, So.)

CORNERBACK

13 JAVARIS DAVIS (5-10, 180, Sr.)

12 Devan Barrett (6-0, 195, Jr.)

-OR-

18 Nehemiah Pritchett (6-1, 162, Fr.)

STAR

6 CHRISTIAN TUTT (5-11, 190, So.)

13 Javaris Davis (5-1, 180, Sr.)

-OR-

15 Jordyn Peters (6-1, 195, Jr.)

FREE SAFETY

20 JEREMIAH DINSON (6-0, 191, Sr.)

21 Smoke Monday (6-2, 186, So.)

STRONG SAFETY

24 DANIEL THOMAS (5-11, 209, Sr.)

9 Jamien Sherwood (6-2, 204, So.)

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

PLACE KICKER

26 ANDERS CARLSON (6-5, 213, So.)

25 Sage Ledbetter (6-0, 176, Sr.)

PUNTER

90 ARRYN SIPOSS (6-3, 212, Jr.)

39 Patrick Markwalter (6-0, 206, Fr.)

HOLDER

25 SAGE LEDBETTER (6-0, 176, Sr.)

90 Arryn Siposs (6-3, 212, Jr.)

LONG SNAPPER

60 BILL TAYLOR (6-3, 226, So.)

53 Clarke Smith (6-3, 231, Jr.)

PUNT RETURNER

6 CHRITIAN TUTT (5-11, 190, So.)

-OR-

13 JAVARIS DAVIS (5-10, 180, Sr.)

KICK RETURNER

4 NOAH IGBINOGHENE (5-11, 200, Jr.)

-AND-

8 SHAUN SHIVERS (5-7, 179, So.)

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