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Friday, August 25, 2006


Tigers' two-deep chart unsettled:

AUBURN Auburn's Tommy Tuberville said the rash of injuries that hit the Tigers in the middle of fall practice has prevented his coaching staff from finalizing a two-deep playing rotation.

"We've got about a two-and-a-half deep right now," he says.

Coaches are trying to determine which true freshmen have a chance to play. Few will, if history is any indication, but some of the new players have had a chance to impress while they filled in for injured veterans. Many will start off on the scout teams with an option to move up.

"We're keeping some guys who we think might have an opportunity to move into the lineup," Tuberville said. "That will change depending on their priorities the next two or three weeks."

Tuberville said the "half" players on the "two-and-a-half" depth chart are a group of highly prized freshmen: wide receives Mario Fannin and Tim Hawthorne, offensive lineman Mike Berry, linebacker Craig Stevens, safety Zac Etheridge, defensive linemen Jermarcus Ricks and Mike Blanc.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges threw in running back Ben Tate to go along with Hawthorne.

"They're with us, the varsity. That means there's the potential to play, otherwise, we'd put them with the scout team," Borges said.

Borges said Tate has a chance over most freshmen because he was with the team in spring practice. But the practical problem for Tate is he's behind perhaps four other veteran running backs.

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