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Hugh Freeze listed Auburn football's leaders so far in spring camp

By Zac Blackerby,


Hugh Freeze shared a list of leaders throughout spring camp on Monday.

Auburn needed leaders to step up this offseason.

Hugh Freeze's new culture had to start with leaders in the locker room. A new wave of accountability has hit the Auburn football program and with the departure of veteran guys like Derick Hall , Colby Wooden , Owen Pappoe , and Nick Brahms , several leadership roles are open.

During Freeze's first spring, it looks like they are starting to get filled. I asked Freeze which players have stepped up as leaders, he gave a list of three players and a position group.

Tate Johnson. Jayson Jones. Elijah McAllister. All of the tight ends.

Let's look at each of these players and how they have shown leadership in different ways.

Tate Johnson

This coaching staff sent a message to the entire team when Freeze arrived saying that every position was open for competition. Despite many people, myself included, counting him out, he has responded and won the attention and respect of his head coach. After bringing in veteran center Avery Jones, Johnson changed to guard after starting at center for Auburn last season and has made the coaching staff want to keep him on the field.

Freeze announced on Monday that Johnson will more than likely miss the remainder of spring due to an elbow injury.

Jayson Jones

From everything I've heard, Jones has been a very vocal leader in the locker room and holding people accountable in the weight room as they prepare for the season. His offseason work has caught the eyes of members of the staff and his teammates. Despite bringing in several skilled defensive linemen, Jones is still starting for the Tigers.

Elijah McAllister

A veteran player in the SEC from Vanderbilt, Freeze spoke highly of McAllister when asked about the JACK position. The coaching staff loves his character and how he impacts the locker room.

The tight ends room

Adding a guy like Rivaldo Fairweather certainly makes the case for leading by example and production as the transfer offensive weapon makes it impossible to look away from when he is running routes. Guys like Luke Deal and Tyler Fromm offer solid depth to the tight end room but Freeze likes the unit for more than just on-field production.

"I think that's a strong group for us," Freeze said. "Not only as players but as culture guys."

Freeze and the Auburn Tigers will be the first to share that they have a long way to go but when it comes to who will lead Auburn there, it starts with these guys. Perhaps the roster will agree with their head coach when they vote on leadership after the spring.

"We will start developing our culture council shortly after spring ball and I'll be curious to see what the team says," Freeze said. "I'll let them vote on that after us having a good spring.

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