Auburn football: Projecting the Tigers' spring center depth chart

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 2, 2014 

Auburn center Reese Dismukes was named to the Rimington Trophy's preseason watch list on Tuesday. He was one of six finalists for the award last season.

LAUREN BARNARD — Auburn University

Editor's note: Auburn's spring practice starts March 18. Some positions are set in stone. Some are up for grabs. Auburn beat writer Ryan Black has already evaluated all the personnel groupings on the team (which you can find here), but now he's paring that down even further to account for every individual position, projecting how the depth chart will look when the Tigers get back on the field for the first time since the BCS championship game. The series continues with the centers.

Who's Who:

Reese Dismukes, senior: Three-year starter at center; 37 starts in past three seasons; All-SEC selection and Rimington Trophy finalist last year

Xavier Dampeer, junior college transfer

Projected depth chart:

1. Dismukes

2. Dampeer

Analysis: Going too in-depth on this position would be foolish.

Dismukes will be Auburn's starting center this fall, just as he has been each of the past three seasons. As noted above, Dismukes has been a fixture in the Tigers' lineup since 2011. During that time, Auburn has played 39 games, with him standing in as the starting center in 37 of those contests. He was already one of the top centers in the country last year, as his finalist showing in the Rimington Trophy voting attests. It would surprise no one if Dismukes ends up winning the trophy in 2014.

But people already know what Dismukes is capable of. The same can't be said for Dampeer. It doesn't hurt that the junior college transfer has already enrolled and has begun to familiarize himself with the offense. At this point, however, he's the only player aside from Dismukes that we know will take reps at center during the spring.

With no shot of overtaking Dismukes for the starting job, the coaching staff will likely move another lineman over to center to make Dampeer push himself, and in doing so, perhaps find out how game-ready he is if something were to happen to Dismukes.

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