Auburn football: Elijah Canion seen as potential WR1 in 2021

Auburn footballMandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn footballMandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Perhaps no greater position offers greater intrigue for Auburn football than the WR position in Bryan Harsin’s first offseason as the head coach of the Tigers.

Key departures to NFL draft picks Anthony Schwartz (third round) and Seth Williams (fifth round) as well as undrafted Eli Stove–who faces an uncertain future after an ACL injury was discovered during his free agent physical with the Los Angeles Chargers–create a void for a rising star pass-catcher to fill this fall.

So far, there’s been solid separation created by underclassman Elijah Canion.

The sophomore X-receiver broke out for two big plays on New Year’s Day at Camping World Stadium in Orlando against Northwestern, including a 57-yard touchdown reception in his season debut/finale. He followed that up with 51 yards and another TD catch during Auburn football’s A-Day spring game.

The performance has Rivals’ Christian Clemente thinking that it is his job to lose:

"If Canion becomes the No. 1 receiver, how does the rest of the room fill out?"

Clemente points out the complexity of the new offense compared to the offense of the last regime. Gus Malzahn’s schemes have been called out this offseason by QB coach Jordan Palmer, but Harsin was a former QB himself, so the routes he has planned for his receivers come from personal experience.

Canion was a 3-star recruit out of Hollywood, Florida, and passed on in-state powerhouses Florida and Miami in his initial recruitment back in 2019. USC was also in the mix for the six-foot-three, 190-lb WR1.

While it is worrying that the top option in the passing game has only caught three passes in his career, it is at least comforting to know they came in a big game environment during one of the featured non-NY6 bowls.

Fly War Eagle hopes (and believes that) Canion is ready for the challenge of leading the WR room into the new era of Auburn football.

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