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Everything Auburn fans need to know going into the first day of training camp

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn will be back on the field Wednesday at the university's athletic complex.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn will be back on the field Wednesday at the university's athletic complex. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn gets back to work Wednesday for the first practice of preseason camp. The Tigers will be on the practice field at the university’s athletic complex at 2:55 p.m.

Coach Gus Malzahn and a group of selected players are scheduled to speak to reporters following the practice session. The first 20 minutes of the practice will be open to the media, a standard set up for the first week of practice.

Here’s everything you need to know about the state of Auburn football going into training camp…

The Offense

Top returning players

Jovon Robinson (RB); Marcus Davis (WR); Alex Kozan (OL); Braden Smith (OL); Austin Golson (OL)

Key departures

Ricardo Louis (WR); Avery Young (OL); Shon Coleman (OL); Peyton Barber (RB)

Freshman to watch

Kyle Davis (WR); Nate Craig-Myers (WR); Kam Martin (RB)

Position battles

The most discussed competition of the offseason is at quarterback between Sean White, Jeremy Johnson and junior college transfer John Franklin III.

Coach Gus Malzahn pledged to take his time developing true freshman Woody Barrett during SEC Media Days. Barrett, who missed most of the team’s summer workouts, will take a back seat to the players that competed for the spot during the spring.

Auburn’s coaching staff has plenty of other work to do shaping its first team offense. The Tigers need to solidify a rotation at wide receiver, develop their second string offensive line and decide on Robinson’s backup.

Projected depth chart

The Defense

Top returning players

Carl Lawson (DL); Montravius Adams (DL); Carlton Davis (DB); Rudy Ford (DB); Tre’ Williams (LB)

Key departures

Jonathan Jones (DB); Blake Countess (DB); Cassanova McKinzy (LB); Justin Garrett (LB); Kris Frost (LB)

Freshman to watch

Marlon Davidson (DL); Derrick Brown (DL);

Position battles

Auburn brings back about half of its starters on defense.

The major holes are at linebacker, but the addition of experienced Illinois graduate transfer T.J. Neal is an important one. Neal along with Tre’ Williams should anchor the group with Deshaun Davis, Richard McBryde, Darrell Williams, and Montavious Atkinson competing for the two other starting spots.

On the defensive line, Auburn needs to find a suitable pass rusher opposite Carl Lawson and another run-stopper to play alongside Montravius Adams.

The coaching staff has similar building blocks in the secondary with plenty of versatile young players competing for spots. Jamal Dean has a slight edge at defensive back while Auburn’s experience at safety could make for a prolonged battle.

Projected depth chart

Specialists

Top returning players

Daniel Carlson (PK); Kevin Phillips (P); Kerryon Johnson (KR); Marcus Davis (PR)

Key Departures

Blake Countess (KR)

Position battles

Auburn has the luxury of returning nearly every single one of its key special teams contributors from last season including one of the best place kickers in the country Daniel Carlson.

With tremendous athletes up and down the roster, the Tigers will audition new faces returning punts and kicks, but they have the luxury of falling back on Kerryon Johnson and Marcus Davis.

Practice schedule (first two weeks)

Wed, Aug 3 (First Practice)

2:55-3:15 p.m. – Open to the media

5:45 p.m. – Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice interviews

Thur, Aug 4

2:55-3:15 p.m. – Open to the media

5:45 p.m. – Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice interviews

Fri, Aug 5

No media viewing window

6 p.m. – Kevin Steele, selected players post-practice interviews

Sat, Aug 6

3:05-3:25 p.m. – Open to the media

5:45 p.m. – Rhett Lashlee, selected players post-practice interviews

Sun, Aug 7 (First Day In Full Pad)

3:05-3:25 p.m. – Open to the media

5:45 p.m. – Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice interviews

Mon, Aug 8

No practice

9:45 a.m. – Assistant coach interviews

Tue, Aug 9 (Two a Days)

11:45 a.m. – Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice interviews

Wed, Aug 10

6 p.m. – Selected players post-practice interviews

Thur, Aug 11

5:45 p.m. – Kevin Steele, selected players post-practice interviews

Fri, Aug 12

5:45 p.m. – Rhett Lashlee, selected players post-practice interviews

Sat, Aug 13 (Two a Days)

11:45 a.m. – Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice interviews

Sun, Aug 14

3:30-5:30 p.m. – Fan Day

Mon, Aug 15

11:45 a.m. – Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice interviews

Tue, Aug 16

OFF — First Day of Class

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