Ask 247Sports’ Jason Caldwell who the most important member of the Auburn football roster is, and his answer will shock you.
It’s not fallen Heisman hopeful Tank Bigsby, anyone in the QB room, or any skill position player for that matter. Instead, it’s a freshman along the defensive trenches earns who has a singular recorded stat in his Tigers career.
That’d be Dylan Brooks, whose entire collegiate resume includes a solo tackle against the Texas A&M Aggies last November.
Caldwell feels that his future responsibilities–not limited to but including anchoring the DL once the current upperclassmen leave–separate him with that notable distinction:
"There may not be a more important player on Auburn’s roster right now than Brooks. That may not be as much for the 2022 season, but the freshman needs to be ready to step up behind Derick Hall and Eku Leota. He also needs to be ready to become the guy when both of those guys are gone in 2023. He needs to show that he can come off the edge and create pressure on the quarterback consistently. Saturday would be a great time to see that happen."
Auburn football is still thin on 2023 recruits
Bryan Harsin and his coaching staff inspired key returns for the Tigers that will keep the team afloat in 2022. Things would look bleak if not for key returns from upperclassmen like Derick Hall, Eku Leota, Colby Wooden, and Owen Pappoe on the defensive side.
When these frontline players move on from AU, it will be on players like Dylan Brooks to carry Auburn football into the future.
Whether it’s with the current coaching staff or not. Because this coming season could see the final bow for many Auburn Tigers’ times on the Plains, whether it be departing super seniors/seniors/juniors to the draft/transfer portal/graduation, or the support staff.