The Auburn football program is having a rebuilding year, and there’s no doubt about that. After a two-year downward spiral under the leadership of Bryan Harsin, the Tigers have flipped the page and officially begun the Hugh Freeze era on the Plains.
But it isn’t as simple as just changing coaches. The team is dealing with a massive overhaul, with a large number of new players, new schemes to learn, and a new culture that is laying the foundations for the future. While most Auburn football fans are hopeful that this season will see major improvement from the previous two, the bar is pretty low for Freeze’s first season.
Earlier this week, Athlon Sports released their 2023 College Football Preview Magazine and bestowed 2023 All-SEC honors upon players around the conference. Georgia had the most selections, 15 players, with Alabama following closely with 12 players. Mississippi State, Missouri, LSU, South Carolina, all had double digit picks, and Auburn football was close to the bottom with only five selections.
According to Athlon Sports, all-conference teams are mostly chosen based on predictions for individual players’ performances ahead of the upcoming season more than career stats or awards. Below are the Auburn football players that made the cut:
- Jarquez Hunter, RB: 2nd Team Offense
- Justin Rogers, DL: 3rd Team Defense
- D.J. James, CB: 3rd Team Defense
- Brian Battie, RB: 3rd Team Specialists (kick returner)
- Austin Keys, LB: 4th Team Defense
It’s no surprise that Jarquez Hunter made the list ahead of his breakout year on the Plains, and D.J. James is a key returner from the 2022 season who had the option to declare for the NFL Draft but chose to play another year in orange and blue. Interestingly, the other three Auburn football players named are incoming transfers, and are expected to be major contributors for the Tigers in the 2023 season.