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During the BCS Championship game last year, it occurred to me that Michael Dyer, just six months before, was graduating high school in Arkansas. Yet, he had the poise of a veteran and the stamina of what could potentially be a Heisman winner throughout the coming seasons.
In the Oregon game, rolling off the defender at the end, Dyer’s only gaff was in looking to his bench for advice. He was a well-coached freshman. Considering his age and tenure in the league, I’m sure he learned, but still a mature move, and I trust this year he’ll be even better.
Add Onterio McCalebb to the mix, a proven running threat, and you have an outstanding backfield with depth based on new recruits and a couple of transfers in Mike Blakely from the Florida Gators and Corey Grant from the Crimson Tide.
I know everyone is concentrating on the quarterback position at Auburn, and I only mention Dyer at the top of the Offensive discussion because he can be such a force in the running/blocking game as long as he stays healthy.
But, add not two but three quarterbacks to the mix and you have an even better scenario than the Crimson Tide has with their two question marks. Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley are seasoned and have been fighting for the job back in the spring. Then, bring on true freshman Keihl Frazier and you have a real battle for that spot.
Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn has given high marks to Frazier for his work ethic and humility at learning the program. This is a stellar combination of quarterback strength. The Tigers have to forget about Cam and concentrate on these three, a pretty good option to have.
The O-line saw action in the Championship season of last year and returns veterans to that role that helped Cam do it.
Other major threats include Philip Lutzenkirchen, a passionate player listed as a TE, and he owns the flats as a clutch receiver, as he demonstrated time and time again last year. He is also a solid team leader in terms of motivation.
Emory Blake is returning at receiver after an amazing season and should be a consistent target for whoever gets the nod at quarterback.