Auburn football opens its 2022 season this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. against Mercer.
There are several points of interest in the depth chart the Tigers released Monday afternoon, including quarterback: TJ Finley will start against the Bears, it was announced Sunday afternoon.
Experience is something Auburn can lean on not just this weekend but throughout the season: Only five freshmen feature on the Tigers’ two-for-two roster.
There isn’t much room for rising stars.
However, if Bryan Harsin & Co. take over the business, there will be opportunities for some younger players to get reps … some in skill positions.
Here are five possible standout players against the Mercer Bears.
Camden Brown, W.R.
Brown has rocketed up the depth chart over the course of fall camp, moving up to No. 2 at X receiver behind Shedrick Jackson.
Auburn lacked a consistent outside threat in the passing game last season. The 6-foot-3 Brown could get a couple of opportunities to make explosive plays against the Bears.
Cam Riley, LB
Riley has 13 career tackles heading into the Mercer game. He’ll start against the Bears, and depending on how the Tigers rotate at linebacker, Riley could have a big game on Saturday. Despite Mercer’s 359 rushing yards last week, there is an expectation that Auburn controls the line of scrimmage.
Cam Riley could be a big part of that, especially given his frame (6-foot-5, 230 pounds).
Tate Johnson, C.
Johnson will replace the injured Nick Brahms at center. There are concerns about his size (285 pounds), but Bryan Harsin and the coaching staff have remained confident in his ability to perform.
He will have the opportunity to show what he is capable of against Chris Hill.
Keionte Scott, C.B.
After transferring from Snow College (JUCO), Scott impressed during fall camp and will play behind Nehemiah Pritchett at cornerback.
He will also have playing time in the nickel. I’m expecting a big play from the secondary this weekend, and Scott is my pick to, well, get a pick.
Tar’Varish Dawson, WR
Auburn tried to take the ball downfield to Dawson a couple of times in the Birmingham Bowl, but he just knocked him down.
Dawson may need a touch to find the end zone against Mercer, depending on how the Tigers use him.
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