TE Philip Lutzenkirchen
9-17-11 at Clemson
10-1-11 at South Carolina
10-8-11 at Arkansas
10-15-11 FLORIDA
10-22-11 at Louisiana State
11-12-11 at Georgia
11-19-11 SAMFORD
11-26-11 ALABAMA
Coach: Gene Chizik
22-5, 2 years

2010 Statistics

2010 RESULTS: 14-0
at Mississippi State WON 17-14
at Kentucky WON 37-34
at Mississippi WON 51-31
at Alabama WON 28-27
South Carolina WON 56-17
Oregon WON 22-19


Off. Coordinator/Quarterbacks: Gus Malzahn
Previous: Auburn Off. Coor. /QB Coach

Def. Coordinator/Linebackers: Ted Roof
Previous: Auburn Def. Coor./LB Coach

Running Backs: Curtis Luper
Previous: Auburn RB Coach

Receivers: Trooper Taylor
Previous: Auburn WR Coach

Offensive Line: Jeff Grimes
Previous: Auburn OL Coach

Tight Ends/Special Teams: Jay Boulware
Previous: Auburn TE/Special Teams Coach

Defensive Line: Mike Pelton
Previous: Vanderbilt DE Coach

Defensive Backs: Phillip Lolley
Previous: Auburn DB Coach

Safeties: Tommy Thigpen
Previous: Auburn Safeties Coach


2010 Final Rankings
AP-1, Coaches-1, BCS-1


Go figure...last year Auburn did not even start out ranked in many preseason Top 25 polls and yet wound up winning a national championship. This time around they will start somewhere in the Top 20 depending on the poll. But ask anyone, including the Auburn diehard, and they will reveal that pulling off such a feat in 2011 would be an even crazier concept. No other team in the country will go through a rebuilding personnel phase than the one Auburn is about to undertake. With only eight starters coming back, outside of the running back position, every single unit will be employing a majority of new people. That's right, every single unit.

Gone is a Heisman winning quarterback, three talented starting receivers, four offensive linemen including two All-SEC performers, a trio of defensive ends, both defensive tackles including a Lombardi Award winner, two Iron Men at linebacker who have started in almost every game the last two years, and three starters from a secondary that gave up a dead last SEC effort. Whew!

The obvious headliner this off-season will be the race to spell Cam Newton behind center. The winner is yet to be determined. Two incumbents Trotter and Moseley show promise sharing the reps but are nowhere close to matching the physical talents of Newton. Piecing together an accurate depth chart for any position at this juncture would just be guessing. Many of these spots are still wide open. Upwards of five players from Auburn's highly regarded 2011 recruiting class are expected to make serious noise. Two of them enrolled early this January and already made their mark (Dismukes at center and Jonathan Rose at corner).

With McCalebb and Dyers returning in the backfield, Auburn will need to rely heavily on the ground game early while these new quarterbacks try to comprehend the playbook. That will be the difference as Auburn looks for a repeat of last year where they barely survived the first four outings before turning on the jets. While the losses are heavy on the defensive side, the talent levels appear to be pretty close to what was on the field during the title run. It's just lacking big time in the experience factor.

Even with the losses mentioned above, this 2011 squad is far superior compared to where they started the past three seasons. If there's one thing Chizik's staff has proven is that they can develop players. This time last year nobody saw Nick Fairley as an All-SEC candidate, much less the Lombardi Award winner. Cam Newton was just a flashy JUCO pickup. There was no guarantee that he would even start at Auburn. Watching Coach Chizik and his staff buck all the negative local sentiments and build a championship team has been fascinating. There were a ton of Auburn fans that "booed" the university administration for hiring him in the first place. These coaches certainly have cultivated a great atmosphere, which in turn is attracting top talent. Auburn should be poised to make some noise in the SEC West and beyond for years to come. War Eagle, Hey!

Projected 2011 record: 9-3

WR Emory Blake
2010 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Barrett Trotter, 6-9-0, 64 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: Michael Dyer, 182 att., 1093 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Emory Blake, 33 rec., 554 yds., 8 TD

Scoring: Onterio McCalebb, 10 TD, 60 pts.

Punting: Steven Clark, 9 punts, 34.9 avg.

Kicking: Cody Parkey, 0-0 FG, 2-2 PAT, 2 pts.

Tackles: Neiko Thorpe, 64 tot., 45 solo

Sacks: Nosa Eguae, 3.5 sacks

Interceptions: Daren Bates, 1 for 0 yds.; T'Sharvan Bell, 1 for 10 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Onterio McCalebb, 8 ret., 28.4 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Quindarius Carr, 19 ret., 5.7 avg., 0 TD


2011 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: Mario Fannin-RB, Terrell Zachery-WR, Kodi Burns-WR, Lee Ziemba-OT, Mike Berry-OG, Ryan Pugh-C, Byron Isom-OG, Wes Byrum-K, Cam Newton-QB (NFL), Darvin Adams-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Antoine Carter-DE, Mike Blanc-DT, Zach Clayton-DT, Michael Goggans-DE, Craig Stevens-LB, Josh Bynes-LB, Demond Washington-CB, Zac Etheridge-S, Aairon Savage-S, Mike McNeil-S, Ryan Shoemaker-P, Nick Fairley-DT (NFL)

Auburn lost a Heisman winner at quarterback but retained the teacher. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Gus Malzahn has shown a unique ability to improve his signal callers from one season to the next. 2011 may be his toughest test. He will have junior Barrett Trotter and sophomore Clint Moseley to work with as frontrunners for the open vacancy. Both have spent the last two years learning this extensive system. While they don't possess the physical profile of Cam Newton (not many do), they both have displayed proven success behind center. Trotter was part of Tommy Tuberville's final recruiting class in 2008. He surprisingly beat out veteran Neil Caudle last fall for back up duties behind Newton and saw action in four games. Moseley was named Alabama's Mr. Football as a high school senior and saw playing time in one collegiate game last year as a redshirt freshman. Joining the team this summer will be USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year Kiehl Frazier from Arkansas' Shiloh Christian. He has a fair change to get on Malzahn's radar but don't expect him to crack the rotation while dealing with a major learning curve. Both Moseley and Trotter continue to receive equal reps right now. The spring did nothing to separate the two and Coach Chizik has said this competition will carry over into August camp. They are very similar in nature and as expected both have shown a great deal of inconsistency according to coaches. If the season opened tomorrow Trotter might get first nod based solely on experience but both would see the field. These two won't be the same playmakers as Newton. The winner will likely be the one that protects the ball and manages the team best.

The running game will continue to be anchored by two seasoned starters with different styles and physiques. Onterio McCalebb is built for speed and Michael Dyer is built for finding a hole and barreling his way through. McCalebb enters his junior year with six starts to his name. Last year he racked up 850 yards and nine touchdowns. His speed makes him a great threat on the perimeter capable of leaving the top defensive backs in the dust. When it comes for plays designed to go up the gut, those are for Michael Dyer. Although Dyer has shown that he too can make yards on the outside, it was his gallops between the tackles the broke legendary running back Bo Jackson's AU freshman record of 829 yards set back in 1982. Great blocking back Mario Fannin has graduated and veteran fullback Eric Smith has been dismissed from the team. Ladarious Phillips will likely fill the fullback role after being sidelined all of 2010 with a broken ankle. To help provide running backs coach Curtis Luper with more bodies, junior Anthony Morgan has made the move from cornerback to running back.

This unit was no stranger to the personnel losses that drastically alter the entire AU depth chart. Gone are three talented starters in Terrell Zachery, Kodi Burns and Darvin Adams who opted to leave early for the NFL Draft. Four scholarship players were kicked off the team for their involvement in an alleged armed robbery and two of them were back up receivers Shaun Kitchens and Antonio Goodwin. Players that remain with experience under their belts include Quindarius Carr, Emory Blake, DeAngelo Benton and Travante Stallworth. Out of that bunch Emory Blake appears to be the leader and has stepped into his new role with ease according to coaches. He comes from good stock as his father Jeff Blake was an NFL quarterback for 14 years. As a back up last fall Emory caught a team high eight touchdown passes and with two years in this intricate offense can play any of the receiving positions. The most pure talent resides with Trovon Reed who came to Auburn with the ability to contribute as a true freshman last fall. Those plans were sadly derailed due to a bruised knee that forced him into a redshirt decision by the coaches. A healthy Trovon Reed has the talent to excel as a receiver, punt returner and wildcat quarterback. Junior DeAngelo Benton was considered the nation's No. 3 receiver out of high school and later a five-star receiver from prep school, but hasn't made any significant contributions since he became a Tiger in 2009. Benton had his best spring to date, which culminated with a 48-yard reception on a deep ball from Trotter in the spring game. Quindarius Carr is the lone senior. He was the starting punt returner last year for the majority of the games while only catching three passes on the year, two of which were for touchdowns. Incoming freshmen Sammie Coates and Jaylon Denson, both from the state of Alabama, will get an immediate look for playing time.

This spot is in good hands. Philip Lutzenkirchen has proven his ability as a tight end and H-back, so it's only fitting that coaches would give him a temporary opportunity to play the role as a traditional receiver this spring. The junior has tremendous hands and has been a productive staple in the offense the last two years. As just a sophomore, Lutzenkirchen turned in 20 receptions with seven of them going for touchdowns. One of those was the game winner in the Iron Bowl. What's left behind Lutzenkirchen is extremely thin however. Two walk-ons are currently providing back up duty in Cameron Groce and Chris Oterson. Neither saw playing time in 2010. Auburn signed four-star tight end Brandon Fulse in February and 6'5 quarterback C.J. Uzomah who can also play this position. In short, Lutzenkirchen needs to stay healthy period.

Line coach Jeff Grimes doesn't have a starting five set at this time and spent much of the spring mixing and matching players in an effort to see what might work best. Of course, this is what spring ball is for…in particular when four of five linemen have graduated. The dilemma of replacing All-SEC tackle Lee Ziemba was settled by moving Brandon Mosely to the left side while keeping A.J. Greene on the right. Greene was the starter at right tackle last year but three games into the season was lost with a broken leg. His replacement Mosley, a converted four-star JUCO tight end wound up starting every game from that point and played a major role in helping the Tigers win a national championship. Aubrey Phillips is back on the team after leaving school in 2009 due to an undisclosed medical issue. The guard positions are currently filled by senior Jared Cooper and junior John Sullen, although with a strong signing class arriving this summer and plenty of redshirt freshman available as options, neither would seem to have those positions locked down. Also gone is All-SEC center Ryan Pugh. That means this group will be anchored by either a walk-on or a true freshman. This spot remains a toss-up between walk-on Blake Burgess and early enrollee Reese Dismukes, who was rated the nation's No. 1 prep center by ESPN.com. A young man who still hasn’t attended his senior prom yet may decide the success of this offensive line. No doubt, this front will undergo a major transformation.


RB Michael Dyer


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Barrett Trotter-Jr (6-2, 206) Clint Moseley-So (6-3, 223)
TB Michael Dyer-So (5-9, 206) Onterio McCalebb-Jr (5-10, 172)
Ladarious Phillips-RFr (6-0, 291) (FB)
WR Quindarius Carr-Sr (6-1, 180) Travante Stallworth-Jr (5-9, 187)
WR Emory Blake-Jr (6-1, 197) DeAngelo Benton-Jr (6-2, 207)
WR Trovon Reed-RFr (6-0, 188) Jaylon Denson-Fr (6-3, 190)
Sammie Coates-Fr (6-3, 180)
HB Philip Lutzenkirchen-Jr (6-4, 253) Cameron Groce-RFr (6-3, 227)
OT Brandon Mosley-Sr (6-6, 306) Aubrey Phillips-RFr (6-5, 344)
OG John Sullen-Jr (6-6, 336) Tunde Fariyike-RFr (6-2, 302)
C Reese Dismukes-Fr (6-3, 290) Blake Burgess-So (6-2, 273)
OG Jared Cooper-Sr (6-4, 298) Eric Mack-RFr (6-3, 330)
OT A.J. Greene-Sr (6-5, 298) Chad Slade-RFr (6-5, 329)
K Cody Parkey-So (6-0, 184) Chandler Brooks-Sr (6-0, 180)



The hits just keep on coming. This side of the line of scrimmage has lost its Lombardi Award winner in tackle Nick Fairley, a senior tackle in Zach Clayton, a trio of talented veterans consisting of ends Antoine Carter and Michael Goggans and backup tackle Mike Blanc along with its coach, Tracy Rocker. Two true sophomores will now attempt to take over in the middle at tackle although both earned playing time as back ups last year. Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter played in the majority of 14 games. Whitaker was the nation's No. 5 defensive tackle coming out of high school with size and strength being his finest assets. After a year of learning the ropes, Whitaker is expected to make 2011 his breakout season. The Tigers also signed four quality defensive linemen in the 2011 recruiting class. Keep an eye out for the star of the group Gabe Wright who Auburn coaches feel was the best high school defensive tackle prospect in the nation. Wright's size and quickness will give him a chance to provide immediate help. Redshirt sophomore Nosa Eguae is the lone returning starter and will continue to man one of the defensive end spots. A coach admirably referred to Eguae as a “secret weapon” last year and is the team's returning sack leader. Corey Lemonier saw enough snaps to earn All-SEC Freshman honors. The Hialeah, FL native participated in all 13 games and recorded one start. The back ups Craig Sanders, Dee Ford and Joel Bonomolo are not far off either, which bodes well for keeping those pass rushing legs fresh.

Gone from this defense are the Iron Men who played on this unit. Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens combined to play virtually every snap of every game for two straight seasons. Suffice to say, like with many positions on the Plain, the experience factor is severely limited. That does not mean the Tigers are missing talent. Daren Bates is the lone returning starter. Bates was an All-SEC selection at safety as a freshman. As a sophomore last year he never really settled into his new role at linebacker. For this defense to be respectable Bates needs to produce. This year, now that Bates is a bona fide starting linebacker, he's trying to add more weight. Bates said he currently weighs 210 pounds and is trying to gain 10 more pounds. In addition to outside linebacker, Bates is takings reps in the middle. Also working at middle linebacker is Jake Holland, the probable starter from nearby Pelham HS where he was Under Armour All- American. One of the hardest hitters on this defense is Eltoro Freeman who has been a mystery to figure out. The former JUCO backer worked hard to get on the field and was rewarded with the start against heated rival Alabama last season. Freeman delivered in a big way and is now considered a veteran leader. Auburn landed a couple of standout prep linebackers and last year's recruiting class hauled in three of them. With a total of eleven players listed at linebacker, someone will step up. The big question will be how quickly some quality depth can be developed.

This entire secondary needs rebuilt, from both a player and production standpoint. Demond Washington and Zac Etheridge graduated, Neiko Thorpe moved to safety, and Mike McNeil was kicked off the team. This was the SEC's worst pass defense last fall (108th nationally). Will a shuffled secondary be an improved one? Two new corners will be lining up in T'Sharvan Bell and Chris Davis. Neither is a big physical presence on the outside and could find trouble attempting to cover speedy receivers. Bell has done everything to show that he is ready for the No. 1 spot, but head coach Gene Chizik said the rest of the group needs work. The good news is that true freshman Jonathan Rose has enrolled early and is already pushing the frontrunners. The former high school star was originally thought to be a pure safety; his move will give these Tiger corners a boost in the size department. Neiko Thorpe has been moved from cornerback to safety and is still caught in the learning curve. Always a physical corner, Thorpe is built for this spot where he can avoid the worry of getting beat deep and just make plays. Sophomore Demetruce McNeal has potential and is the presumptive frontrunner for the other safety spot but the starting lineup is by no means settled. This looks like a faster and more physical unit than last season showed. All they need is some experience, but this group is certainly one big question mark.


DB Neiko Thorpe


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Corey Lemonier-So (6-4, 229) Dee Ford-Jr (6-4, 233)
DT Kenneth Carter-So (6-5, 287) Derrick Lykes-Jr (6-2, 286)
DT Jeffrey Whitaker-So (6-3, 310) Jamar Travis-Jr (6-0, 295)
Gabe Wright-Fr (6-4, 310)
DE Nosa Eguae-So (6-2, 255) Craig Sanders-So (6-4, 257)
Joel Bonomolo-Jr (6-3, 237)
LLB Eltoro Freeman-Sr (5-11, 224) Jonathan Evans-Jr (5-11, 225)
MLB Jake Holland-So (6-0, 232) ..
RLB Daren Bates-Jr (5-11, 201) LaDarius Owens-RFr (6-2, 242)
CB T'Sharvan Bell-Jr (6-0, 182) Jonathan Rose-Fr (6-2, 185)
CB Chris Davis-So (5-10, 192) Jonathon Mincy-RFr (5-10,186)
S Demetruce McNeal-So (6-1, 188) Drew Cole-Jr (5-11, 190)
S Neiko Thorpe-Sr (6-2, 185) Ikeem Means-Jr (6-0, 209)
P Steven Clark-So (6-5, 228) Chandler Brooks-Sr (6-0, 180)




Auburn is going to need both a new punter and kicker. Senior walk-on Chandler Brooks served as the place kicker for the spring game as projected starter Cody Parkey sat out with a leg injury. Parkey is the only kicker on the roster that got some actual attempts last season; both of those were only extra point attempts. Parkey looks solid yet unspectacular. The young sophomore should not be expected to nail down the long ones and that is where a good punter would be handy. Steven Clark handled nine punts last year for a meager 34.9 average. In the spring game however he racked up 378 yards on eight punts (an increase of 12 yards per punt). Granted this was with a wind behind his back on most occasions but this was a major improvement nonetheless. The most obvious weakness the past two years has been on punt returns. Auburn ranked 90th nationally last year in this phase of the game and it has been an Achilles Heel since Coach Chizik arrived. The current job is up for grabs between sparkling new receiver Trovon Reed, projected starting safety Demetruce McNeal, young cornerback Jonathan Mincey and senior receiver Quindarius Carr, who is the only player with experience returning punts as he manned the duty for most of the 2010 season. Coaches have said that Reed and Carr are the clubhouse leaders.