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C Ryan Pugh
Who's Graduating: Lee Ziemba, Mike Berry, Ryan Pugh, Byron Isom, Bart Eddins
Who Might Leave: n/a
Who's Returning: Brandon Mosley, A.J. Greene, John Sullen, Blake Burgess, Jared Cooper, Andre Harris, Tunde Fariyike, Eric Mack, Ed Christian, Chad Slade
Incoming Freshman: Reese Dismukes, Thomas O'Reilly, Greg Robinson
It's easy to see why Auburn has been so dominant. They fielded four senior offensive linemen. It all starts up front. And this is one of the best lines in Auburn history. There is no doubt that Ziemba, Berry, Pugh, and Isom will be missed.
To replace them, well, will be difficult. Brandon Mosley, a JUCO transfer, starts at right tackle. Originally, he was Ziemba's backup. There was an intense right tackle position battle. First it was between Brandon Mosley and Roszell Gaydon, another JUCO transfer (who left the team during the season). Then it became a battle between John Sullen and A.J. Greene. Greene won it, and played well, before breaking his leg against Clemson. Sullen replaced him in that game, but Mosley ultimately got the nod.
So there's two tackles with starting experience: Greene and Mosley. John Sullen is versatile enough to play guard or tackle and will likely start. The other two positions are questionable. Walk-on Blake Burgess has played well. I wouldn't be surprised if he earned a scholarship. I believe him to be the front-runner at center next year. But don't sleep on freshman Reese Dismukes.
At the other guard position, Cooper has experience. Fariyike, Mack, Christian, and Slade could also compete. And who knows, maybe Thomas O'Reilly, a top 10 guard nationally, could contend. Personally, I'm looking for Eric Mack to have gotten on track, dropped some weight, gotten a lot stronger, and prepared to start. He was one of the biggest signees last year.
Shon Coleman: You probably know the situation. Coleman was an intriguing commit last year, ranked a 3-star by ESPN but a 5-star by Rivals, no one knew how he'd turn out. But man, he looked dominant.
Coleman was diagnosed with cancer. He did not sign with Auburn, obviously. He is cancer-free, and looks to sign on this year. Last I heard, Gene Chizik was going to talk to the NCAA to grant him an extra year of eligibility, because it's doubtful that he'll be able to play this year.
Recruiting Targets: Xzavier Ward, Spencer Region, Christian Westerman
I haven't heard much about Xzavier Ward lately. I'm also not sure if Spencer would make it. He committed to Bama, then decommitted and committed to Auburn, then decommitted and named Wisconsin his leader. I don't know where he'll wind up, but Auburn (and I think Bama too) won't offer him a scholarship unless it's a last resort late in the process. Westerman is an excellent 5-star prospect who is committed to Texas. That's iffy now. He took an official visit to Auburn and liked it. I don't know the chances, but maybe he'll be a Tiger.