With several influential characters gone (Zac, Nick, Cam and Josh) it means that several new names must step up and raise their games to the potential that they were recruited for. Auburn will need to stay competitive this year, and competitive teams have those big names that can influence games and have their voices heard.
Practice reports have been promising thus far, the coaches are bigging-up several players and that can only be a positive thing. The quarterback race is also ongoing until the end of spring, and I expect it to be either Clint Mosely or Barrett Trotter taking the job. Of course that was obvious since Malzahn said he wanted the quarterback race done by the end of spring and Frazier isn't even here yet (duh).
If walk-on Logan Paul can play well and hold his own then I expect to see Kiehl Frazier red-shirted. Frazier is a player I don't expect to see until Trotter or Mosely graduates (or even jumps to the NFL, who knows?) and what's the point of wasting valuable years where he could develop just so he can see a few snaps against cupcake teams? I do think experience is very valuable but I don't want to see him used in a year that we will be rebuilding at several key positions (especially the offensive line, holy moly!).
This will also be the year to see a new set of wide recievers step up. The remaining guys (Blake, Benton, Carr etc.) will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Adams, Zachery and Burns and I think they are more than capable of doing so. Emory Blake had a solid sophomore season last year, making some big plays and big catches that will be needed once again this year.
Quindarius Carr has always found himself near the bottom of the depth chart, but he gets an opportunity in his final year to prove his worth to Trooper Taylor and the Auburn team. DeAngelo Benton is a player that has been unable to contribute much in the last two years, what with his various injuries and his rustiness of 2009. However with the newly vacated spots he gets to show his true potential and (fingers crossed) he has a monster season. I am rooting for him big time and I hope he lives up to the immense words of Trooper Taylor, who said he can "break records".
Overall I am excited to see how this team will develop and if any of the new guys can step up at several key positions. Chizik has said he will play freshman in 2011, and when you come to Auburn, you need to be able to contribute as soon as you get here.
It is still early days and I think we will see a few more twists and turns heading into september. Lets just hope that these twists and turns make us better, and not deplete our already thin depth-chart.