Auburn’s offseason was far from normal. Second-year coach Bryan Harsin’s job status stood in limbo for two weeks, a medium-sized village of players transferred out of the program, multiple assistant coaches bailed and instability has emerged as the signature theme of Harsin’s second year on the Plains. It’s no secret that the chefs in the kitchen on the booster side of the program could win every show on the Food Network, and they undoubtedly will be judging every move Harsin makes not only throughout the offseason, but the entire fall as well.
There’s still reason for hope, though, because of some key returning players. Running back Tank Bigsby, one of the best players at his position in the country, decided to stay for his junior season rather than enter the transfer portal. Defensive lineman Derick Hall emerged as a star last season and stud linebacker Owen Pappoe opted to return to the program after missing seven games due to injury during his junior year.
So what should you expect this spring from the Tigers? Let’s break down the key players, scheme changes and what needs to be accomplished in order for Auburn to contend in 2022 as the Tigers begin spring practice.
Auburn will be replacing both coordinators this season — one by choice and another by necessity. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was let go after the season, and Eric Kiesau will take control. Kiesau is a longtime assistant on Harsin’s staffs, so expect the two to play off of each other in what should be a fluid and consistent approach to the offense. That means that the Tigers will use more tempo and make more of a point to solidify Bigsby and sophomore Jarquez Hunter as multi-purpose weapons out of the backfield.
The decision to move on without Bobo was…