Analyzing Auburn’s Depth Chart for Clemson

Prior to his Clemson week press conference, Gus Malzahn released his first depth chart of the 2016 season. The biggest news was released a few days ago, but there are still a few surprising spots on the 2-deep. I’ve posted a few thoughts on each position below. Have a look.

Sean White

OFFENSE

QB
1. 13 Sean White (6-0, 200, So.)
2. 6 Jeremy Johnson (6-5, 234, Sr.) –OR–
2. 5 John Franklin III (6-1, 186, Jr.)

We’ve known Sean was the starter for around a week now, and the whole OR thing between Jeremy and John is totally expected as well. Gus isn’t going to give anything away that he doesn’t feel like he probably should give away. Naming Sean the starter is as far as he’s going to go.

RB
1. 21 Kerryon Johnson (6-0, 211, So.)
2. 36 Kamryn Pettway (6-0, 240, So.)

Up until the dismissal of Jovon Robinson, this duo wasn’t the expected pair, but I have no problem with it. Kerryon has plenty of experience and was a playmaker last year. Pettway is a beast that will take some of the load and lay the load on any poor soul trying to tackle him.

HB
1. 27 Chandler Cox (6-1, 236, So.)
2. 44 Landon Rice (6-5, 253, Fr.)

No surprise here. Chandler Cox will be Jay Prosch 2.0.

TE
1. 85 Jalen Harris (6-4, 259, So.) –OR–
1. 44 Landon Rice (6-5, 253, Fr.)

I bet you didn’t realize that Jalen Harris was the starting TE last year, too. Yeah, that page in the playbook got stuck to the one before it apparently. I mean, he was a freshman starting, so they probably didn’t trust the position too much.

WR
1. 80 Marcus Davis (5-9, 180, Sr.)
2. 3 Nate Craig-Myers (6-2, 204, Fr.) –OR–
2. 4 Jason Smith (6-1, 188, Jr.)

WR
1. 83 Ryan Davis (5-9, 172, So.)
2. 12 Eli Stove (6-0, 177, Fr.)

WR
1. 10 Stanton Truitt (5-9, 185, So.) –OR–
1. 33 Will Hastings (5-10, 172, So.)

WR
1. 81 Darius Slayton (6-2, 191, RFr.)
2. 8 Tony Stevens (6-4, 212, Sr.) –OR–
2. 11 Kyle Davis (6-2, 219, Fr.)

I’m somewhat surprised that Jason Smith is an OR with a freshman and not a starter at one of the other three WR spots. Will Hastings must be something special. Tony Stevens might end up being a slight disappointment if he’s an OR under a redshirt freshman. I have a feeling Kyle Davis will move up the depth chart quickly once he’s back to 100%.

LT
1. 73 Austin Golson (6-5, 314, Jr.)
2. 78 Darius James (6-4, 320, Jr.)

LG
1. 63 Alex Kozan (6-4, 310, Sr.)
2. 75 Deon Mix (6-4, 315, Jr.) –OR–
2. 77 Marquel Harrell (6-3, 318, RFr.)

C
1. 52 Xavier Dampeer (6-2, 310, Sr.)
2. 54 Kaleb Kim (6-4, 290, RFr.)

RG
1. 71 Braden Smith (6-6, 300, Jr.)
2. 64 Mike Horton (6-4, 331, RFr.)

RT
1. 70 Robert Leff (6-6, 299, Sr.)
2. 76 Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. (6-8, 282, RFr.)

This is exactly the offensive line that I expected. Prince Tega moved from the defensive side of the ball and is already in the 2-deep. Maybe the coaches knew what they were doing.

DEFENSE

Buck
1. 55 Carl Lawson (6-2, 253, Jr.)
2. 4 Jeff Holland (6-2, 250, So.)

Carl Lawson is still a junior. Let that sink in. I know he hasn’t played a full season in a while, but it feels like he’s been around forever. And if Jeff Holland is his backup, the Buck is strong. Really strong.

DT
1. 95 Dontavius Russell (6-3, 308, So.)
2. 90 Maurice Swain Jr. (6-5, 314, Sr.) –OR–
2. 79 Andrew Williams (6-4, 289, So.)

Nothing surprising here. I mean, a sophomore is staring over a senior, but it was expected.

DT
1. 1 Montravius Adams (6-4, 309, Sr.)
2. 5 Derrick Brown (6-5, 330, Fr.) –OR–
2. 94 Devaroe Lawrence (6-2, 303, Sr.)

Derrick Brown is going to be a beast if he’s an OR with senior Devaroe Lawrence, a guy who got significant playing time last year.

DE
1. 3 Marlon Davidson (6-3, 273, Fr.)
2. 9 Byron Cowart (6-3, 276, So.) –OR–
2. 10 Paul James III (6-4, 271, Jr.)

Marlon Davidson, a freshman, is starting on what could be the deepest defensive line in the SEC. Byron Cowart is still showing us that recruiting stars may not matter that much, but I see him having a big year, especially if Marlon can’t handle his freshman year.

MLB
1. 57 Deshaun Davis (5-11, 239, So.) –OR–
1. 30 Tre’ Williams (6-2, 240, Jr.)

I love Deshaun Davis. I also love Tre Williams. But I was surprised that Deshaun is an OR with Tre. I figured Tre would be the obvious starter here. Good for both.

WLB
1. 48 Montavious Atkinson (6-1, 211, So.) –OR–
1. 17 T.J. Neal (6-0, 235, Sr.)

This is somewhat surprising as well. TJ Neal was going to be the much needed experience in this linebacking corps, but he’s an OR with a sophomore. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just figured he’d be the obvious starter, too.

SLB
1. 49 Darrell Williams (6-2, 231, So.)
2. 51 Richard McBryde (6-1, 231 RFr.)

This is fine.

CB
1. 31 Javaris Davis (5-10, 182, RFr.)
2. 15 Josh Holsey (5-11, 195, Sr.)

Josh Holsey is getting is 6th year of eligibility, so I see him being a leader in the secondary, but Javaris Davis starting here shows where he is at this point of fall practice.

FS
1. 23 Rudy Ford (6-0, 204, Sr.)
2. 19 Nick Ruffin (6-0, 203, Jr.)

This is a good, solid pair of free safeties.

SS
1. 28 Tray Matthews (6-1, 207, Jr.)
2. 11 Markell Boston (6-0, 200, So.)

This is a good, solid pair of strong safeties.

CB
1. 6 Carlton Davis (6-1, 195, So.)
2. 22 John Broussard Jr. (5-11, 168, Fr.)

Carlton Davis will carry the cornerbacks, but this is a slightly thin group. I’m not sure if Stephen Roberts will play here due to the depth issue, but we’ll have to wait until his suspension is up. I see it being one game.

Nickel
1. 23 Rudy Ford (6-0, 204, Sr.)
2. 15 Josh Holsey (5-11, 195, Sr.)

This is fine.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK
1. 36 Daniel Carlson (6-4, 218, Jr.)
2. 43 Ian Shannon (6-3, 218, RFr.)

P
1. 91 Kevin Phillips (6-0, 185, Sr.)
2. 43 Ian Shannon (6-3, 218, RFr.)

H
1. 29 Tyler Stovall (6-1, 212, Jr.)
2. 5 John Franklin III (6-1, 186, Jr.)

LS
1. 69 Ike Powell (6-3, 264, Jr.)
2. 68 Zach Wade (5-10, 182, So.) –OR–
2. 53 Clarke Smith (6-3, 239, Fr.)

PR
1. 80 Marcus Davis (5-9, 180, Sr.)
2. 83 Ryan Davis (5-9, 172, So.)

KR
1. 23 Rudy Ford (6-0, 204, Sr.) AND 21 Kerryon Johnson (6-0, 211, So.)
2. 9 Kam Martin (5-10, 177, Fr.) AND 10 Stanton Truitt (5-9, 185, So.)

I see nothing surprising in all of the special teams. I think it’s cool that there is an OR at 2nd-string long snapper. Depth!

So now that we know who is playing, how does it make you feel about Saturday? Better? Worse? Same? Let me know in the comments.