The depth chart released for Auburn's season-opener includes a couple positions that could leave Auburn fans (and reporters) scratching their heads a bit.
Take the running backs, where the chart lists six Tigers as co-starters — it could be last year's starter, JaTarvious Whitlow OR senior Kam Martin OR junior Malik Miller OR sophomore speedster Shaun Shivers OR, for good measure, the Tigers' two freshen, D.J. Williams OR the versatile Harold Joiner.
At least according to the depth chart, that is.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was asked about the depth chart oddity at running back during his Tuesday press conference, citing the positive of having so many capable backs on the roster before conceding that one name on the list will see the field first on Saturday.
"We’ve got a lot of confidence in all of them and they all could possibly play," said Malzahn. "Boobie Whitlow will be the first guy that goes out, but we could possibly play them all and we’re impressed with all of them."
Another oddity on the depth chart is the appearance of Nick Coe at four positions — serving as a backup at both defensive tackle spots and at defensive end and then surprisingly being listed as the starter at outside linebacker over junior Chandler Wooten. Although not listed on the depth chart at buck end/linebacker, he started there last season and will likely still line up there in some packages.
"Nick is going to move around, Nick’s a starter," said Malzahn. "With different personnel groupings they give us, he’ll move around, but he gives us a lot of flexibility. He can play outside, inside, he can play off the ball -- he’s a very versatile player that gives our defense a lot of flexibility.”
Anthony Schwartz is listed as a co-starter with Seth Williams at wide receiver. Malzahn said his availability for Saturday's contest will be a game-time decision.
It also appears that true freshman linebacker Owen Pappoe has done enough during spring and fall camps to be considered a co-starter at linebacker with Zakoby McClain.