New stars could emerge for Auburn’s offense this spring

Auburn opens spring practice on Tuesday with a new offensive coordinator. That means a fresh start for an entire roster of offensive players, many of whom may have been buried so deep on the depth chart they may have never had a chance to rise to the top under the previous coach.

That’s certainly what happened at Auburn last spring, when the departure of Will Muschamp cleared the way for Kevin Steele to take over as defensive coordinator. Linebacker Deshaun Davis took advantage of the change, working his way from forgotten man to team leader.

Who might be the Deshaun Davis of this year’s spring practice at Auburn? One place to look is wide receiver.

New offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey has a bunch of big, fast receivers to work with, but no real productivity to go along with those skills. No returning Auburn receiver has ever had as many as 300 receiving yards in a season.

That means playing time is available for players such as redshirt freshman Marquis McClain, senior Jason Smith and a talented sophomore class that showed potential last season.

Who knows, John Franklin III or Kam Martin could even change positions to be a major factor at receiver.

Nobody knows exactly what Lindsey is looking for this spring — which is what make the competition so wide open.

For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Nuts and Bolts of the Game.

Thomas Gleaton