Auburn is heading into the spring with an empty depth chart. Every player on the roster is fighting for a position as if it were their first days on campus.
New coaching staffs bring out new stars, and this spring Jaylon Denson will be the breakout star for the Tigers.
Denson is a 6’3”, 211lbs junior at the receiver position for Auburn.
He came to the Tigers as a highly-regarded pass catcher out of high school who was the star of his Hoover (AL) offense. He was recruited by Malzahn and Co. during his time as offensive coordinator at Auburn.
During his recruitment, Denson was a top player out of the state of Alabama and was the No. 205 player in the country according to Rivals.com.
He was expected to step in and help a receiver corps that was losing its stars after 2010, but he has yet to make a consistent impact in the passing game. A lot of that has to do with a lack of opportunity thanks to the quarterback disaster that has followed the Tigers the past few seasons.
He is an aggressive receiver that first saw playing time as a true freshman during the 2011 season as a special teams warrior covering kicks and punts. In 2012 he saw his first action as a receiver.
His first start came against Vanderbilt last year. His first career catch came three weeks earlier against Arkansas, and it was also the only catch for Denson in the 2012 season.
Despite only having one career catch, Denson has what it takes to become a star in the Malzahn offense.
Will Denson have a breakout spring?
Denson is a lengthy receiver that has great hands, deceptive speed and is a smooth route-runner. He consistently makes catches away from his body, and is aggressive enough to be effective across the middle.
In the Malzahn offense perimeter blocking is one of the most important jobs for receivers. Denson is arguably the best perimeter blocker on the team.
Add in his blocking skills and Denson is a complete receiver that should explode this spring.
The receiver corps has been the most underdeveloped and underperforming position group for the Tigers over the past decade.
The expectation is that Dameyune Craig will be able to coach up this group of talented players and find production. Denson is one of the many that has the talent to make an immediate impact.
It all starts this spring for Denson. This is his shot to make waves and climb the depth chart this year.