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Five newcomers who could make an impact


aubiefifty

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five newcomers who could make an impact for Auburn in 2022

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March 7, 2022 3:04 pm CT
 

There are five freshmen to keep an eye on this season. Two offensive players and three defensive players are at the very top of our list. All five were highly recruited out of high school and will more than likely be featured abundantly over the course of the spring.

Omari Kelly, Wide Receiver

Omari Kelly was regarded as a four-star WR by 247Sports. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, he has played against some of the best competition in the state. Within the past few months, the Tigers have lost wide receivers Kobe Hudson and Javarrius Johnson via the transfer portal. They also lost Demetris Robertson (graduated). The three ranked No. 1, No. 3, and No. 5 respectively in receptions.

This makes Kelly’s impact that much larger for the Spring. At his high school, Kelly ran track and field. The Tigers could definitely use someone that has world-class speed. It will be interesting to see how Kelly develops over the Spring. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he were in the rotation for a starting role in the Fall.

Micah Riley-Ducker, Tight End

Micah Riley-Ducker is a 6’6 Tight End out of the state of Nebraska. 247Sports has him ranked as the No. 19 tight end in the class. Former Auburn TE JJ Pegues recently transferred to Ole Miss so that makes his impact just as large. His frame and skillset should definitely have him in the mix to earn playing time for the Fall.

JaDarian Rhym, Defensive Back

JaDarian Rhym is an interesting name to keep an eye on. 247Sports ranked Rhym as a 4-star DB. The reason you should keep an eye on Rhym is because of the departures that the Tigers had in the secondary. Safety Smoke Monday and cornerback Roger McCreary both declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. Although Rhym hasn’t practiced for the Tigers, he is still very intriguing.

In 2020, he received All-Region first-team selections at DB in Class 6a in the state of Georgia. With that being said, he too has played against some of the best talents in the state. The cornerback position will be one to keep an eye on as the spring approaches.

Robert Woodyard, Linebacker

Robert Woodyard was once an Alabama commit. The product of Mobile ranks as the 13th best Linebacker in the country, according to 247Sports. With the loss of Zakoby McClain to the NFL draft, the Tigers will look for answers at the linebacker position. He could definitely be a player to keep an eye on in the Spring. Although Pappoe is returning for his senior year, the Tigers still have to find someone to line up next to him.

Austin Ausberry, Defensive Back

Austin Ausberry hauls from the Bayou. He was ranked as the No. 22nd cornerback in the country. Like Rhym, he also has a chance to compete for a spot in the Spring. The two will likely battle for a spot alongside Nehemiah Pritchett and Jaylin Simpson. It will be interesting to see how everything looks by the Fall. All five of these players could have lasting impacts on the Tigers’ success in 2022.

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TJ Finley did an interview with War Rapport that was released the other day. He seemed to be impressed with Jay Fair's abilities and drive even as a newcomer. 

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18 minutes ago, JBiGGiE said:

TJ Finley did an interview with War Rapport that was released the other day. He seemed to be impressed with Jay Fair's abilities and drive even as a newcomer. 

Fee like we've got a lot of those small fast WRs on the roster and it would be hard for him to really break through as a TrFr.  He's basically a clone of Dawson and Jar Johnson

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The writer should have done a lot more research. Pegues wasn't a TE at AU but the TE position is still the deepest on the team. I doubt a 3* TE comes in and makes a splash. The question about Woodyard is if he'll be recovered from his knee surgery enough to play this coming season or will he need a redshirt year? Sort of sloppy journalism.

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3 minutes ago, Mikey said:

The writer should have done a lot more research. Pegues wasn't a TE at AU but the TE position is still the deepest on the team. I doubt a 3* TE comes in and makes a splash. The question about Woodyard is if he'll be recovered from his knee surgery enough to play this coming season or will he need a redshirt year? Sort of sloppy journalism.

Who’s your top 5 to make an impact?

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4 minutes ago, TexasTiger said:

Who’s your top 5 to make an impact?

Haven't thought about it much. I suppose the DL Frenchman has a chance. Woodyard depends on his medical situation. Holden Geriner should make an impact at QB at some point over the next few seasons but it remains to be seen if he will be ready this season or not.

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4 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

Within the past few months, the Tigers have lost wide receivers Kobe Hudson and Javarrius Johnson via the transfer portal.

In regards to the journalism, hasn't J Johnson rejoined the team as of last week????

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5 minutes ago, TecmoBoJackson said:

In regards to the journalism, hasn't J Johnson rejoined the team as of last week????

The 247 site, updated 3/7/22 still shows him as being in the portal. I guess we'll find out when spring rosters are released.

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I’m bullish on these guys and the opportunity for any new guys. Could have an blank slate for spring after all of the fallout. I really like our defense. Wish there was a reason for optimism on the offensive side of the ball. 

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7 minutes ago, woodford said:

I’m bullish on these guys and the opportunity for any new guys. Could have an blank slate for spring after all of the fallout. I really like our defense. Wish there was a reason for optimism on the offensive side of the ball. 

How many years in a row has this been the prevailing outlook going into the Spring/Season?   

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1 minute ago, casatiger said:

How many years in a row has this been the prevailing outlook going into the Spring/Season?   

Idk. I’m as sour on this program as anyone but I think these were solid pickups. Auburn does not have a rosy future at the moment but these guys could make plays. 

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2 hours ago, W.E.D said:

Fee like we've got a lot of those small fast WRs on the roster and it would be hard for him to really break through as a TrFr.  He's basically a clone of Dawson and Jar Johnson

I agree that he's probably mostly a slot guy, but I think he may have 15 pounds of muscle or so on those guys. Maybe not the top end speed, but more physical. Jhead has been saying that he thinks he can play the Z in this offense. We'll see. Him, Johnson, and Dawson all seem like they need to get on the field 

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2 hours ago, W.E.D said:

Fee like we've got a lot of those small fast WRs on the roster and it would be hard for him to really break through as a TrFr.  He's basically a clone of Dawson and Jar Johnson

Fair is a more accomplished, polished receiver coming out of high school than probably Dawson and maybe Johnson, too. And those guys couldn't get on the field most of last year so it's not like they're light years ahead with their college development. 

WR is one of the positions where a guy can come in and make an impact anywhere, but particularly on this roster. Shed Jackson is the only guy bringing back any production unless we go ahead and call King a WR. 

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16 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Fair is a more accomplished, polished receiver coming out of high school than probably Dawson and maybe Johnson, too. And those guys couldn't get on the field most of last year so it's not like they're light years ahead with their college development. 

WR is one of the positions where a guy can come in and make an impact anywhere, but particularly on this roster. Shed Jackson is the only guy bringing back any production unless we go ahead and call King a WR. 

If you call King a WR and he had production with 7 receptions, I'm not sure why Dawson or JJ could be called "productive" either.  2-3 years in a college program, they're going to have a leg up on a TrFr.  Especially in a rumored complex offense that we have.

I always struggle with it, but everyone always wants to hype TrFr and especially a 3* that came here as instant impact guys.  It rarely ever happens.

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26 minutes ago, W.E.D said:

If you call King a WR and he had production with 7 receptions, I'm not sure why Dawson or JJ could be called "productive" either.  2-3 years in a college program, they're going to have a leg up on a TrFr.  Especially in a rumored complex offense that we have.

I always struggle with it, but everyone always wants to hype TrFr and especially a 3* that came here as instant impact guys.  It rarely ever happens.

Man. I couldn't have done much more to qualify my statement to make it clear that I'm not "hyping" Fair. Not sure how many ways I can or have to specify that he can make an impact on *this roster*. 

What rarely ever happens is a team returning this little pass catching production. That's why I pointed out that *Shedrick Jackson* is our leading returning WR. All three of these freshmen have a shot at seeing the field a lot this season. 

Dawson only has one year in the system- Harsin's first year and a year that saw both the WR coach and the OC fired, as well as turnover at QB- and produced zero stats.

Johnson produced more than I realized but I'm not sure we want to call 19 catches over two seasons something that can't be overcome by a talented freshman. 

Hopefully we get a stud transfer, though, and that changes the dynamic across the board. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Man. I couldn't have done much more to qualify my statement to make it clear that I'm not "hyping" Fair. Not sure how many ways I can or have to specify that he can make an impact on *this roster*. 

What rarely ever happens is a team returning this little pass catching production. That's why I pointed out that *Shedrick Jackson* is our leading returning WR. All three of these freshmen have a shot at seeing the field a lot this season. 

Dawson only has one year in the system- Harsin's first year and a year that saw both the WR coach and the OC fired, as well as turnover at QB- and produced zero stats.

Johnson produced more than I realized but I'm not sure we want to call 19 catches over two seasons something that can't be overcome by a talented freshman. 

Hopefully we get a stud transfer, though, and that changes the dynamic across the board. 

It was more a general comment vs you specifically hyping him.

I don't think JJ even played has a freshman, so it's really 19 in one season.  Nothing amazing, but a 3rd year player who has shown he can produce when healthy (think he was hurt often last year) is someone I'll put more stock into.  Maybe he's hurt more and it opens the door.  

Yes, WR was a massive need and unfortunately we struck out on just like OL.  Hopefully someone is buried on the DC and see some opportunity here.  Would help if some QB separated themselves and got a little hype coming out of spring.  Would make it easier to attrack someone

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5 hours ago, TecmoBoJackson said:

In regards to the journalism, hasn't J Johnson rejoined the team as of last week????

LOL first thing I saw as well. Like c'mon man.

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7 hours ago, woodford said:

Idk. I’m as sour on this program as anyone but I think these were solid pickups. Auburn does not have a rosy future at the moment but these guys could make plays. 

I was not directing that at the players.   This has been across two different coaching staffs with the defense always being solid and our offense seemingly the question mark every year with two different offensive minded coaches.   CBH has only had one season so I won't say it is a trend under him yet but it seems to be a trend at auburn the last few years.  

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Robbie Ashford gets my vote for one and he's not a newcomer but I think Zierer improves tremendously by the end of 2022. His injury recovery has been slow.

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The two defensive players we got in the portal from Oregon and at least one of the QB's we got in the portal plus Mba and Kelley or Fair because of how few WR's we have returning.

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8 hours ago, aucanucktiger said:

Robbie Ashford gets my vote for one and he's not a newcomer but I think Zierer improves tremendously by the end of 2022. His injury recovery has been slow.

I'm not sold on Ashford. He was at Oregon two years and for some reason never played in a single game. I guess we'll see what happens through the spring.

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8 hours ago, Mikey said:

I'm not sold on Ashford. He was at Oregon two years and for some reason never played in a single game. I guess we'll see what happens through the spring.

I looked up their roster when Bo transferred there. They had no less than four 4 star QBs on the roster with 2 of them in Ashford’s class and they were pro style while he’s more of a dual threat. That could’ve had something to do with it. He’s a wild card this spring in my opinion. Could go either way. 

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27 minutes ago, Gowebb11 said:

I looked up their roster when Bo transferred there. They had no less than four 4 star QBs on the roster with 2 of them in Ashford’s class and they were pro style while he’s more of a dual threat. That could’ve had something to do with it. He’s a wild card this spring in my opinion. Could go either way. 

Probably would've been Calzada, but with the surgery and missing Spring, I think it goes to Dee or Robby. 

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5 hours ago, bigbird said:

Probably would've been Calzada, but with the surgery and missing Spring, I think it goes to Dee or Robby. 

I've seen ppl post this...he had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder 12 weeks ago.  Surely he can go through spring in a non contact jersey like all the other QBs do.

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