Photo by Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers Answers Questions In His Mailbag Column

Jason Caldwell answers questions about Auburn sports in his mailbag column.

John Franklin (above) will be competing to play quarterback for the Tigers this season.

alcar7: Who will be the starting QB when we play Clemson?

That’s a good question. My guess is that John Franklin will get every opportunity to win the job and I think he’s the odds-on favorite to be the starter.


bigplayer2404: What do you see CHH's role in the offense and do you see CDC playing a bigger role in the O?

Herb Hand has been a run game coordinator at several stops and should help as Auburn’s running attack looks to find its groove again. As for Dameyune Craig, I don’t expect his role to be any bigger. He has got plenty on his plate working with a bunch of inexperienced wide receivers.


wtbtiger: Do you think Canty returns this year or is his career over at AU? Do we have a potential line up that can compete with the rest of our games?

Unfortunately that question was answered on Thursday night when Canty declared for the NBA Draft. As for a potential lineup that would allow Auburn to compete, that would be a no.


tigerpi: How are the two transfers doing and do you expect they might even earn a starting position

I’m going to guess that you’re talking about football in general and Jamel Dean and Darius James in particular. I think Dean has a great shot to be a starter at cornerback opposite Carlton Davis. He has been impressive since arriving on campus. As for James, he’s got some ability but he’s still a wildcard because he was less than full speed in the fall. I think he’ll be in the mix at tackle.


ATLtiger07: Do you think Auburn will be as successful recruiting in the state of Georgia moving forward? The staff that uga has assembled has so many connections in state that it concerns me a bit.

I think Auburn will continue to hammer the state of Georgia like it always has. I do think the Tigers will try to continue to hit Florida very hard as well as staying home in Alabama. Those three states are going to be a focal point.


AuburnNinja: With Canty's situation, do you see Pearl targeting another PG type in this class or do you think he still pursues a big man? Or does he go after both?

I think Auburn will got after both a big man and a point guard in this class in addition to the three early signees. My guess is that one or both could be graduate transfers like we’ve seen the last two years.


AuburnNinja: Let's say you are assistant GM for the Panthers. What positions would be your priority going into the offseason?

No question my priority would first be to find a true left tackle. That’s a must-have position in my mind. Then I would add another bona fide receiver to go with Kelvin Benjamin. Having Ted Ginn was the No. 3 guy isn’t bad, but he can’t be the best you’ve got.


AuburnNinja: Which Prince do you think has a better chance of earning a starting spot first? Tega or Sammons?

I think Tega probably has a better chance because he’s a year ahead, but Sammons will be tough to keep off the field as a redshirt freshman if he develops like I think he can. He us talented and is going to be really big.


Rickster14: While coaches often say in regards to the OL that "we want to get the best 5 players out there", do you think there is a real chance that Dampeer may start at C with Golson at RT?

Right now I don’t think that Dampeer would be one of Auburn’s best five players. Even though the thought has been out there that it was a close race at center last fall Golson was the clear winner. I don’t know that you move a returning starting center unless there is absolutely nobody else at tackle.


AUtigeritaville: I asked this at the end of football season and i'll ask it now since its pretty much the end of men's basketball. Give me a song that describes the season, please.


gmasomn73: Give me your top 5 incoming impact players, transfer or freshman.

I would go with Jamel Dean, John Franklin, Landon Rice, Antwuan Jackson and Derrick Brown.


aupops: Jason, did AU miss on any player(s) that you(or the coaches) thought would sign with the Tigers, but left us at the altar?

There was nobody that I felt like was anything close to a sure bet around signing day. No question that Will Muschamp likely cost Auburn a really good player when he basically ignored Antonneous Clayton. He ended up being one of the top pass rushers in the 2016 class and was really high on Auburn, but Muschamp didn’t like him as well as other guys and he signed with Florida.


AugTiger: What is your feel on what Gus and the offensive coaches would like for the offense to look like next year with regards to going back to zone-read heavy look with more QB runs or stay with more of a drop-back passing look like last year? I know a lot depends on how the QB's look and their skill set, but what do you think the coaches would really like to do?

I said during the 2015 season that it was time for Auburn to decide what it wanted to be as an offense and with the additions of Franklin and Woody Barrett it looks like to me the quarterback run game is once again a focal point. Prior to last season I think the coaches would have liked to have a dropback player who could run well enough, but it sure looks like running the quarterback is going to be back in play.

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