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6.5.23 Football Articles


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PFF ranks Gunner Britton as one of the best returning offensive linemen in the SEC

JD McCarthy

~2 minutes

Hugh Freeze has done a great job flipping Auburn’s roster ahead of his first season on the Plains and perhaps the position where he has done the most work is along the offensive line, where the Tigers have landed nine newcomers this offseason.

One of the biggest additions is transfer offensive tackle Gunner Britton, who spent the past five seasons at Western Kentucky. He started 14 games for the Hilltoppers last season and is poised to be the Tigers starting right tackle for the 2023 season.

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The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder was one of the top players in the transfer portal and PFF has him graded as one of the top returning offensive linemen in the SEC, his grade of 78.6 is the fourth highest among returning players.

He is one of four transfers Auburn has landed along the offensive line and all have a good shot at starting. With Britton anchoring the right tackle spot, Dillon Wade (Tusla) is expected to start at left tackle with Avery Jones (ECU) playing enter and Jaden Muskrat (Tulsa) battling for one of the guard spots.

Highest graded returning SEC Offensive Lineman pic.twitter.com/zGnbGBzZVm

— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 3, 2023

Contact/Follow us @TheAuburnWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Auburn news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow JD on Twitter @jdmccarthy1

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John Wayne Oliver, sought-after 2024 OT from Nashville, names 2 SEC teams in top 3

Andrew Olson
~1 minute

John Wayne Oliver has picked up 27 scholarship offers during his recruitment. The Christ Presbyterian Academy offensive lineman is narrowing things down.

On Sunday, Oliver named 2 SEC programs in his top group. Oliver’s top 3 features Auburn, Ole Miss and TCU.

Oliver measures 6-5, 285 pounds. On the 247Sports composite rankings, Oliver is rated 3-stars, the No. 13 Tennessee product, No. 39 offensive tackle and No. 540 prospect overall nationally in the 2024 recruiting class.

Oliver has already checked out Auburn and Ole Miss on unofficial visits. He has official visits scheduled at Ole Miss and TCU for the next 2 weekends.

Junior season highlights of Oliver playing on both lines can be viewed below, via Hudl:

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247Sports forecasts brutal SEC slate for Auburn in 2024

Taylor Jones
2–3 minutes

The long-awaited decision regarding conference scheduling within the SEC was officially made on June 1 when the conference announced that it will keep its traditional eight-game model, but will eliminate divisions beginning in 2024.

There is not a set structure regarding permanent opponents and rotations, however, as the eight-game model will be evaluated after the 2024 season. After facing the likes of Alabama and LSU in the western division every season since 1992, will Auburn catch a break with the SEC’s new division-less system? Brad Crawford of 247Sports does not see that happening.

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Following the announcement from the SEC, Crawford took time to predict Auburn’s 2024 SEC slate, and it is anything but easy. Crawford projects the Tigers to get its usual dose of Alabama, Georgia, and LSU, followed by four teams that reached bowl games during the 2022 season.

Here’s how Crawford predicts Auburn’s “nightmare” conference slate to appear:

This prediction, if true, will be “business as usual” for Auburn, as the Tigers have grown accustomed to facing Alabama, Georgia, and LSU every season. Mixing in teams that have built a reputation for consistent bowl play in Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Kentucky, and Hugh Freeze will have quite the challenge as he works to rebuild the program. Welcoming SEC newcomer, Texas, to Jordan-Hare Stadium will be a nice touch, as the Longhorns have not visited the Plains since 1987.

Auburn, as well as the rest of the SEC, will learn about its 2024 opponents on Wednesday, June 14.

Contact/Follow us @TheAuburnWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Auburn news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow Taylor on Twitter @TaylorJones__

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JUCO DB Champ Anthony commits to Auburn

Published: Jun. 04, 2023, 9:07 p.m.

1–2 minutes


Nubyjas Wilborn | nwilborn@al.com

Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze gets another transfer portal victory. Defensive back Chancellor ‘Champ’ Anthony announced on Sunday via Twitter that he intends to leave his junior college in Texas to play football at Auburn for the 2023 season under Freeze.

Anthony posted 14 tackles, broke up two passes, and had an interception last season as a freshman at Tyler Junior College. He showed versatility by playing several positions in the secondary.

The 6′1 176-pound defensive back will likely see time at nickel back. His height and strength allow him to cover tight ends. His speed can cover wide receivers on deep routes.

Anthony had offers from BYU, North Dakota State, Old Dominion, and several others during his recruiting process when the spring window opened.

Nubyjas Wilborn covers Auburn for Alabama Media Group.

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Jason Caldwells Monday morning quarterback column

Jason Caldwell
4–5 minutes

Important month for Auburn football

Things got off to a good start for Hugh Freeze and the Auburn Tigers with the addition of DB Champ Anthony on Sunday, but the next three weeks are going to be a whirlwind for the staff and players as they tackle an extremely busy month of June.

With a pair of 5-star prospects finishing up official visits on Monday along with a huge defensive lineman, Auburn’s coaches will hit the field for their first camp on the Plains with an Elite Camp scheduled for Monday afternoon. It’s the first of four elite camps this month for the Tigers. They’ll also have a pair of high school 7-on-7 camps that will have a lineman camp going on at the same time. All of those camps along with a youth camp, a kicking camp and a ladies forum will all take place in the next 10 days.

Along with camps going on and unofficial visitors on campus, Auburn will also have close to 20 official visitors in the next three weekends as Freeze and the Tigers look to continue to build relationships on the recruiting trail.

While it’s not the season yet, this month is about as important as it gets for this staff heading into the first year on the job.

No recipe for postseason success

You just never know what’s going to work for a team heading into the postseason in college baseball and that continues to be proven each and every year as the NCAA Tournament continues to become more and more unpredictable. Last season, Ole Miss swept Missouri and LSU in weeks eight and nine before dropping a series to Texas A&M the last weekend. They followed that up with a loss in the first game of the SEC Tournament. They responded by running roughshod through the field on the way to the national championship. 

This season you had teams that played well at the end of the year, like Auburn, that fell flat in regional play. There’s no better example than Clemson. They were 17-14 overall and 2-8 in ACC play following a loss to Florida State on April 6. Following a win over Lipscomb in the first game of their regional, the Tigers were 44-17. That’s a 27-3 record in 30 games. They proceeded to lose the next two and the season is done.

Another one was Vanderbilt. A team that won two out of three against Arkansas in the final series of the year and then won four games in Hoover to win the SEC Tournament, the Commodores didn’t advance to the regional final at home in Nashville over the weekend.

On the flip side you have South Carolina. The Gamecocks went 5-13 in their last 18 games heading into the NCAA Tournament, but dominated their competition in a regional on the way to the supers.

There’s just no way to know what’s going to happen when you get into the NCAA Baseball Tournament, and while it doesn’t get as much attention as the Big Dance, to me there’s nothing better than this couple of weeks as far as drama and never knowing what to expect.

Friday a big day for Auburn baseball

After years and years of plans being made and then plans being scrapped, we are just a few days away from getting real news about updates being made at Plainsman Park. It’s something that coach Butch Thompson has talked about since arriving on the job and it’s well past due for the venue to receive a facelift and some reconstructive surgery. 

There have been talks about updates to the coaches’ offices and weight room areas to make room for premium seating areas underneath the stadium, premium seating areas and suites down the first base lines, seating on top of the indoor hitting facility, seats on top of the green monster, and updating the press box area at Plainsman Park. 

On Friday we’ll find out what has been approved and what changes that Thompson and AD John Cohen came up with to maximize the space at Plainsman Park. With construction on the first phase scheduled to begin sometime later this summer, it’s almost go-time to see what Auburn baseball’s home is going to look like in the coming years.

Following the crowds inside and outside of Plainsman Park the last two years during regional play and even for most SEC weekends, it’s past time to give this program a new look.

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