I think the Tigers probably have a good leader in Emory Blake at wide receiver. Up front on the offensive line I am sure the coaches are hoping that John Sullen can assume a leadership role as a senior and Reese Dismukes can do it, too, even though he is just a sophomore.
There may be others who have the potential to take leadership roles, but right now I am not sure who they are although the new fullback, Jay Prosch, looks like he could help with that if he is cleared to play this fall.
I think there is tremendous potential on this offense. They have got to settle on a quarterback. Based on what I saw in the spring, I don't think there is a lot of difference in the throwing ability of the three guys.
Clint Moseley, the returning starter, was hurt so you would have to say that coming out of spring practice that Kiehl Frazier would have been the starter if the team was playing a real game on A-Day. However, there is a lot of time between now and the Clemson game so the starting spot still has to be won.
While Moseley is older and has the advantage of starting six times last year, Frazier did play a good bit as a true freshman and that is important, even though what he was allowed to do was limited. It is also a plus for the sophomore that he is a good runner, which can be a big factor for an offense facing the type of speed defenses have in the SEC.
The Tigers have three tailbacks, and maybe four, who look like they have the speed to score from anywhere on the field. The speed of McCalebb, Mason and Grant should a major plus for this offense and we know that tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen can make plays, I think C.J. Uzomah is going to develop into a playmaker at tight end, too. He is still a long way away, but he has the ability, the talent and the frame to be a strong tight end in the SEC.
Whoever is quarterback for this offense is going to need a couple more wide receivers to step up and develop into playmakers. Auburn's offense had three key wideouts Cam Newton could pass to in 2010 and that was a huge factor in the team going undefeated.
The playmakers at wide receiver don't necessarily need to have great talent, but it is essential they be dependable and produce when plays need to be made to win football games.
I don't know that Terrell Zachary was a great college wide receiver, but he certainly was dependable. I don't know that Darvin Adams was a great talent, but when you threw the football in his direction he made the play and you could count on him in the clutch. In my book that made him an outstanding football player for the Tigers.
Emory Blake is shown during Auburn's bowl victory over Virginia to close the 2011 season.
In 2010 as a sophomore Blake was the third dependable receiver in that group and he came up with plenty of big plays. When he was healthy last year he was very effective and I expect that to be the case this fall as he returns as the No. 1 option to pass the football to in 2012.
Somewhere in the current group of receivers that includes Travante Stallworth, Quan Bray, Trovon Reed, Jaylon Denson, DeAngelo Benton and Sammie Coates, a couple of guys need to step up and become playmakers. With the exception of Denson and Coates, those receivers have been in the program for several seasons and so there is experience to work with at a position that needs to improve so it can make the quarterbacks and offense look good.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.