Depth Chart: Auburn Tigers Offensive Line


Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers guard Alex Kozan (63) tries to hear the play call while in the huddle with tackle Greg Robinson (73) center Reese Dismukes (50) and tackle Avery Young (56) against the Florida State Seminoles during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is interesting that the five biggest guys on the field are so often overlooked. Last season, the Auburn Tigers led the nation in rushing with an average of 328.3 yards per game, and while much of the credit rightfully went to Tre Mason, Nick Marshall, Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant, more attention should be paid to the Tigers’ talented offensive line.

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Auburn returns four starters from last year’s group, though the one that got away was the best of the bunch. Greg Robinson is now a member of the St. Louis Rams after being selected second overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. However, the rest of the players on the depth chart have combined to start 113 games, which ties South Carolina for the most in the Southeastern Conference. Even more impressive, that number ranks 11th in the nation.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers guard Chad Slade (62) in action against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The unquestioned leader of the group is senior center Reese Dismukes. Center is perhaps the deepest position in the entire conference, and nearly every pre-season All-SEC team you will find has the Spanish Fort, Alabama native’s name featured as a first teamer. Dismukes earned Freshman All-American honors in 2010, and has started 37 games across the last three seasons. This week, ESPN listed Dismukes as one of college football’s 100 best players, and he should contend for All-American honors in 2014.

Another senior, Chad Slade, will return as Dismukes’ right hand man. Slade has 36 career starts to his credit and is quite possibly the best right guard in the SEC. Alex Kozan, a sophomore, will start at left guard where he earned Freshman All-American honors last season. Kozan started all 14 games for the Tigers as a redshirt freshman in 2013.

Fellow sophomore Avery Young returns to right tackle. The Florida native started the season’s final nine games last year, and appeared in ten as a redshirt freshman. Generally, when a talented young tackle starts on the right side and his counterpart on the left leaves for the NFL, the more experienced player will slide across to protect the quarterback’s blindside. The fact that Young will stay at right tackle should tell you how confident the Auburn Tigers’ coaching staff is in Shon Coleman.

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Coleman competed with junior Patrick Miller this spring for the left tackle position vacated by Robinson. The sophomore is a remarkable story as a leukemia survivor that spent two years away from football. Coleman started at left tackle in the spring game and though his starting spot is not yet guaranteed, Coleman is a gifted run blocker and former five-star prospect. Expect him to start and Miller, a better pass blocker who does have starting experience, to be the top backup at both left and right tackle. Robert Leff will provide additional depth at tackle.

The top option as a backup guard is Devonte Denzey, though Young is listed as the number-two right guard. True freshman Braden Smith could factor into the rotation as well.

In all, the Auburn Tigers offensive line is one of the most solid units on the roster, and is one of the best O-Line groups in all of college football. The Tigers will again be a force to be reckoned with running the football, so take notice of these large men.