2022 Auburn football preview: Cornerback

·3 min read

Auburn has the difficult task of replacing Roger McCreary but has two proven cornerbacks in Nehemiah Pritchett and Jaylin Simpson they can count on.

In addition to losing McCreary, the Tigers also saw their depth take a major hit due to four players transferring out but they also added several potential instant impact players in Keionte Scott and D.J. James.

Secondary coach Zach Etheridge is entering his second season coaching the cornerbacks and has a group of talented players that are competing for snaps behind Simpson and Pritchett.

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Departed

(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

  • Roger McCreary (NFL)

  • Ladarius Tennison (transfer)

  • Dreshun Miller (transfer)

  • Ro Torrence (transfer)

  • Eric Reed Jr. (transfer)

  • Malcolm Askew (graduated)

Projected Starters

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Nehemiah Pritchett

With the departure of McCreary, the role of Auburn’s No. 1 corner is open and Pritchett is a great candidate to fill that role. He is one of the fastest and most athletic players on the roster and has improved each year. Entering his senior season he has improved as a leader and should be a player Auburn can count on.

Jaylin Simpson

When he is been on the field Simpson has been a productive player for Auburn but he has battled multiple injuries in his two seasons on the Plains. Like Pritchett, he is a great athlete and has the potential to be a great cornerback but needs to work on putting it all together. I expect him to fend off D.J. James and win the starting job across from Pritchett, giving Auburn two talented and athletic corners who are looking to increase their production.

Returning Players

Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

A.D. Diamond: Entering his redshirt freshman season, he is undersized at 6-foot, 161-pounds but he has worked to add strength and had an impressive spring that he is looking to carry over into the season.

Newcomers

Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Keionte Scott: The No. 1 ranked JUCO corner last season arrived for fall camp and has the ability to push for immediate playing time. He gives the Tigers an experienced backup behind Pritchett and Simpson

D.J. James: A transfer from Oregon, he started 10 games last season for the Ducks and is pushing Simpson hard for his starting spot. He has the talent to win that spot but even if he does not he will have an important role as a backup.

Austin Ausberry: A former four-star recruit he has the size (6-feet, 203 pounds) and the athleticism to see the field as a true freshman. He is certainly part of the future at corner and could be a key reserve this season.

J.D. Rhym: Another former four-star recruit, he was an early enrollee and performed well in the spring. He has the ability to play inside at nickel or stay outside and where the coaching staff moves him will be interesting, he may also see the field this season.

Projected two-deep

Shanna Lockwood/ AU Athletics

Cornerback:

Nehemiah Pritchett, senior

Keionte Scott, sophomore

Cornerback:

Jaylin Simpson, junior

D.J. James, junior

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire