Ranking Auburn by position: No. 10
AUBURN | The first in our series of ranking Auburn football by position begins today with No. 10 tight end and H-back. We’ll countdown from 10 to 1 over the next couple of weeks.
WHY NO. 10: Auburn must replace NFL draft pick Chandler Cox, who started 41 games over the previous four years. Most of the candidates to replace Cox are young or inexperienced or both.
OVERVIEW: Even though tight end and H-back ranks at the bottom of this list, it still has the potential to be a pretty productive position if a couple of underclassmen can step up into the void left by Cox.
The two current players that could have the biggest impact this fall are third-year sophomore John Samuel Shenker and redshirt freshman Harold Joiner.
Shenker got a lot of reps as a backup last season and spent a good portion of this spring working with the first-team at tight end. Joiner, who worked at both running back and receiver this fall, could be a very versatile weapon for the offense this fall.
Depth should come from two talented true freshmen that enrolled in January, Tyler Fromm and Luke Deal. Auburn also has two walk-ons, senior Spencer Nigh and junior Phelps Gambill, who can fill a role as run blockers.
The position could receiver a further boost later this summer if Arizona State graduate transfer H-back Jay Jay Wilson sticks to his plan to enroll at Auburn.
Linebacker signee Kameron Brown, the younger brother of senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown, could also get a long look at H-back this fall or over the next couple of seasons. He’s expected to enroll at the end of May.
FINAL NOTE: This could be an exciting position if Shenker or Joiner step up, or Wilson can step in and make an immediate impact. It's also a very important position in allowing Gus Malzahn to run his hurry-up offense and not be forced to substitute so much due to down and distance.