Editor's note: There's still one more game left in Auburn's 2014 season. But it's never too early looking ahead, right? In that vein, we're starting a series looking at each position on the team and how those spots might look like next year — taking into account that some players may decide to leave early for the NFL as well as the possibility that some prospects committed for 2015 may end up elsewhere. The guessing is all part of the fun, though. The series continues by taking a look at the Tigers' safeties.
Who's Staying:Johnathan Ford
Josh HolseyStephen Roberts
Who's Leaving:Jermaine Whitehead
Who's Coming In:
Outlook: Safety could go a number of different ways next year. It seems certain that Ford — who has had a breakout season in 2014, leading the Tigers in tackles (84) and grabbing three interceptions — will remain in the lineup. But who will take the other safety spot? Holsey could be one — if he doesn't end up at corner. Moncrief is another; he had the boundary safety spot locked down entering fall camp, but an illness and the emergence of Ford relegated him to the second-team.
Then there is Matthews, who sat out this season after transferring from Georgia. In his only season with the Bulldogs, he made six starts at safety, collecting 36 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
Roberts, a true frsehman and Opelika High School alum, has appeared in 11 games this fall, making three tackles and forcing a fumble. Fellow 2014 signee Boston, meanwhile, has redshirted this year.
At the moment, Colbert is the only "true" safety the Tigers have committed for 2015. But as we mentioned when talking about the linebackers, Auburn will have a plethora of options at that spot and this one with the elimination of the hybrid "Star" position.
As this whole series is pure speculation, the guess here is that Auburn's starting safeties next year will be Ford and Matthews. (Don't take that to Vegas, though.)