**AuburnSports.com is reporting this Wednesday that Andre Wadley and Da'Shaun Barnes are taking medical hardships and likely won't play college football. Neither played in a game for the Tigers. They both say they will remain in school. They don't count against the 85-player scholarship limit.And so Auburn's depth chart threatens to reach critical mass, particularly at linebacker. With Marcus Jemison and now Barnes both departed from what was already the second-thinnest unit on the team, the two-deep is perilously thin: between Harris Gaston and Jonathan Evans, one freshman linebacker will step right into the two-deep while the other becomes the only scholarship linebacker left on the third team.
That's right, Auburn will have only seven scholarship linebackers this fall, eight if Dee Ford lands there rather than defensive end. I would say that qualifies as "likely" these days, but of course the loss of Wadley--while not surprising--means Auburn is a bit short at end as well. The guess here is that Ford is a linebacker for now, at least until he bulks up a bit into a size more defensive end-like.
Overall, the attrition level is getting downright uncomfortable. That's nine players now off the roster since the end of last season, not including the two guys who departed for the NFL or the still-in-news-limbo Aairon Savage. So it's not surprising there's some position'-switchin' going on: Goldberg's also reporting that T'Sharvan Bell has switched over to safety from corner. Not entirely surprising given that with D'Antoine Hood and Taikwon Paige (likely) at corner and McNeil and Etheridge both coming off of injuries, depth at safety is at even more of a premium right now than at corner. Still, here's a quick wager that poor Harry Adams finds himself back in the secondary by the end of fall camp.
One last thought: man, it would be nice if Auburn could avoid any surprises with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Gaston and Evans are already in, so that's comforting, but we're still waiting for a final word on (drum roll please) Daren Bates, Terrence Coleman, Josh Jackson, LaVoyd James, Izauea Lanier, Paige, and Demond Washington (who now also seems more likely to play corner rather than running back). James is widely believed to going JUCO and Lanier might be in trouble, but nothing's definite and the other five kids are (as far as I know) expected to make it across the finish line. Still, it's going to be a little tense until they do--particularly in the cases of Paige, Washington, and Coleman, whose purported ability to play immediately would be a boon.