7 players who raised their stock the most during Auburn football's fall camp
As Auburn makes the transition from camp mode to extended game prep, here are the more surprising names who should be fixtures in the Week 1 depth chart.
WR Camden Brown (all photos courtesy of Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
Auburn football’s fall camp is essentially over.
After an off day on Monday — when the coaching staff spent time “flipping some depth charts a little bit,” per Bryan Harsin — the Tigers will return to the practice field Tuesday. Things will have started to fall into place by then, whether it’s the two-deep, the special teams units or the travel squads.
Tuesday starts an extended game week prep period, where Auburn will go ahead and get ready for its opener against Mercer and potentially look ahead to some of the other early matchups of the season. There’s still practice time to shake things up, but that amount is decreasingly rapidly.
What the players have done to this point will go a long way into determining where they sit on offense and defense heading into Week 1. And while a lot of our projected depth chart from earlier this month stayed true to form, there were several Tigers who made some serious moves in fall camp.
Today’s newsletter focuses on the top seven, from the newcomers who made bigger-than-expected impacts to a few returning faces who made the most of their opportunities.
They’re listed below in alphabetical order, and we start with a breakout player candidate that has not disappointed in the slightest.
Coming into fall camp, Bridges was one to watch because of the progress he made in spring practices and because he fit the description of “multi-sport high school player whose development takes off in Year 2 of college.” But Auburn had older safeties already on the roster and added another one during the summer in Craig McDonald, so it was tough to see where he would fit on the two-deep.
So much for that. With Donovan Kaufman positioning himself as the top name at nickel, Bridges was with the first-team defense early and never looked back. After Auburn’s second scrimmage last Friday, defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding said Bridges was “starting to get a good feel back there” and that “he's got all the athletic ability in the world.” That came after his position coach piled on the praise.
“He has a lot of talent,” defensive backs coach Zac Etheridge said. “He has a lot of tremendous upside to be an elite guy. I mean, he's one of the most athletic guys out there with his size and speed. Very smart kid. It's just about understanding the urgency, understanding the maturity of what it takes in this game. But he's been very impressive this whole camp, getting his hands on the ball and doing things that can help us in the secondary. We're counting on him to step up.”
Bridges has a real chance to be a starter for Auburn’s defense this season, especially if Kaufman plays more at nickel than safety next to Zion Puckett. Even if he’s not one of the first ones out there on defense, though, you should still expect to see the 6-foot-2 Mississippi native quite a bit.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Auburn Observer to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.