It has been a long time since the Auburn football program has found consistent success in the wide receivers room. For the past few seasons, the offense overall struggled in finding an identity and the playmakers in each position group, but new head coach Hugh Freeze is out to change that.
The Tigers’ wide receivers coach, Marcus Davis, is a young guy, but the recruits seem to love that. He was outstanding during his time as an Auburn football player, even playing in the BCS National Championship game in 2013. Once deciding on Davis to lead the pass catchers, it was time to start bringing in the talent.
The wide receivers group got a lot of attention when it came to the transfer portal. Several players left the program, which was not super surprising given the lack of real, consistent success from the group over the last few seasons.
Nick Mardner was the first transfer wide receiver to come in, a guy that was previously coached by Davis during his time at Hawaii. Though he was the only pre-spring transfer the group added, three more came from the second portal window in Caleb Burton, Jyaire Shorter, and Shane Hooks.
While three of those four guys have proven success and are coming in to help the wide receivers immediately, Caleb Burton is the outlier. He redshirted his first season at Ohio State, and has four years of eligibility left, something that Hugh Freeze has taken note of, per Auburn Undercover:
"“His high school tape was pretty dang special and he’s a future,” Freeze said. “The other guys are one-year stop-gap guys that help improve our room I think some way or another. But Burton’s a little different. Burton’s got four years left with us and I think he’s got skill sets that are really going to help us in the future.”"
It’s a new era on the Plains, and with so many new players it’s possible that in this era, the Auburn football program will have playmaking wide receivers.