Auburn opens spring practice for the 2017 football season on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Each day until then, we’re going to preview one position group.

Up next, the two groups that will be coached by new assistant Larry Porter: H-backs and tight ends.

Lost: None

Returning: HB Chandler Cox, TE Jalen Harris

Newcomers for spring: TE Sal Cannella

Coming in the fall: HB/TE John Samuel Shenker

Outlook: These are two of the most intriguing areas of Auburn’s offense, because it’s still not clear how new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey plans to use H-backs and tight ends. Both were a mixed bag under former OC Rhett Lashlee in his final season on the Plains in 2016. Cox was used in multiple ways, most notably as a wildcat quarterback, but all it resulted in was 15 rushing yards, 41 receiving yards and one touchdown. Harris was used even less; the sophomore tight end caught two passes for two touchdowns, but both came on trick plays. Lindsey’s offense, though, employs the tight end more than the one Lashlee and coach Gus Malzahn have been running. Last year at Arizona State, three tight ends combined to catch 12 passes for 187 yards and six scores. Auburn also added a player capable of filling that field-stretching tight end role in JUCO early enrollee Cannella, who caught 29 passes for 449 and seven scores at Scottsdale Community College last season. The most interesting player at the position won’t arrive until the fall, though: Shenker, a three-star signee out of Colquitt County High in Moultrie, Ga., caught 30 passes for 451 yards and two touchdowns while playing on the line, split out wide and out of the backfield, and he did it all under coach Rush Propst, who was the head coach at Hoover High when Lindsey was the offensive coordinator in 2007. How this position is utilized in the A-Day game on April 8 will be interesting to see.