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 free safeties.
Who's Staying: Jermaine Whitehead, senior: Started all 14 games; 65 tackles (44 solo, 21 assisted), 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, six pass breakups, one fumble recovery
Trent Fisher, junior: Appeared in all 14 games; Nine tackles (seven solo, two assisted)
Never miss a local story.
Projected depth chart:
Analysis: Pretty straightforward here.
Whitehead is back as a starter for the third straight season. Two years ago, he was a strong safety in defensive coordinator's Brian VanGorder's scheme. Last season, he was a free safety. He was one of the Tigers' most consistent defenders in 2013, as his 65 tackles were fourth-most on the team.
Fisher has never started a game, serving as a career backup in his three seasons on the Plains. Still, he ended last year just behind Whitehead on the depth chart, and at least entering the spring, there's no reason to think that will change.
Other possibilities at the position include Brandon King and Khari Harding, though each could end up moving to other spots.
Things will become a bit more interesting during fall camp, when true freshmen Markell Boston and Stephen Roberts attempt to state their case for playing time immediately.