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Aug 16, 2018
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  Football Preview: Linebackers

The Auburn linebacking corps doesn't have everyone returning in 2018, but the Tigers should have a big year with the talent back on the field.

Tre' Williams doesn't return for the Tigers, but there's plenty of experienced talent to pick up the slack and lead the group. In fact, the Tigers have a senior returning at all three positions.

Deshaun Davis is expected to be the guy leading this corps. He returns to middle linebacker as a third-year starter. Davis has 150 career tackles and saw an increase in total tackles from his sophomore to junior years. Davis is a smart player who has high expectations. Phil Steele has the senior on the preseason fourth-team All-SEC.

Darrell Williams returns as a third-year starter at the sam position. The senior has been a consistent threat, racking up 57 tackles as a junior and 52 as a sophomore. Williams came into his own in 2017, recording team highs in tackles in the LSU and Georgia games.

Expected to start at the will position is Montavious Atkinson, who saw time behind Tre' Williams last fall. This fall will provide a new opportunity for Atkinson, who played 10 games as a free safety his freshman year. In 2017, as a linebacker for his second season, Atkinson looked more comfortable in the role and played in all 14 games.

With the three seniors providing Auburn's experience and leadership, the Tigers have several others to provide back up and potential excitement looking ahead to 2019. Some of the young guys who are expected to see the field this year at linebacker are K.J. Britt, Chandler Wooten and Richard McBryde.

Britt and McBryde each played in all 14 games in 2017. McBryde also had 12 solo tackles. Wooten, a sophomore, didn't play in every game, but he did have eight total tackles in conference games.

The front seven for Auburn is expected to be very good in 2018, and the linebacking corps should be just as good as an incredible defensive line. The Tigers' defense kept the team in games last year when the offense sputtered. If the linebackers can help keep the other team's offense off the field successfully this year, the Tigers have a realistic shot of playing in another SEC Championship Game.

Brandon Miller

Quarterbacks and Receivers

Running Backs

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

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