Justin Ferguson/SEC Country
Auburn's Sal Cannella stood out in the first two weeks of fall camp.

Auburn analysis: Writers select their MVPs (so far) of fall football camp

SEC Country’s Auburn football coverage team weighs in with the Tigers’ MVP after two weeks of fall camp.

Lauren Shute: Sal Canella

My MVP of fall camp so far is Sal Cannella. Auburn knew he had the potential to be a serious offensive threat when they snagged the No. 1 JUCO tight end, but I’m not sure the Tigers anticipated his quick rise. The fact the 6-foot-5, 228-pound TE was working with the first-team offense early in camp is telling. Still, I think the most interesting thing that’s come from the reports about the newcomer, however, is the edge and attitude he’s bringing. Auburn’s receivers remain a big question mark heading into 2017, but Cannella seems to be offering a demeanor that could help that unit’s confidence heading into a very critical year for Auburn offensively.

Justin Ferguson: Jamel Dean

My MVP of fall camp so far is Jamel Dean. He was in this same spot last year before a knee injury robbed him of the 2016 season. Although Auburn fans haven’t seen him play yet, he is one of the most talented defensive backs on the roster. His 6-foot-2 frame and long arms make him the ideal player opposite Carlton Davis, and he’s had a great camp so far, which included a pick-six. But Dean’s value goes beyond his impact at cornerback. His move to the front of Josh Holsey’s old cornerback job has freed up Javaris Davis to work at nickel in place of Rudy Ford. That move has given Daniel Thomas more reason to work at safety, which added depth to Auburn’s thinnest position. Dean is the driving force behind an ideal domino effect for this secondary.

Auburn football-Auburn-Auburn Tigers-Jamel Dean
Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean was on track to start in 2016, but a knee injury kept him out all year. (Kenny Moss/Special to SEC Country)

Benjamin Wolk: Sal Cannella

My answer: Sal Cannella. He might not be the traditional tight end Auburn fans felt like they needed last recruiting cycle, but he’ll bring a unique and welcome skill set to this football team. The long-haired, inked-up playmaker with fashion-design aspirations has a flair for big plays. At 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds, Cannella is going to be a matchup nightmare for Auburn foes this season. He’s already proven that in practices and scrimmages, which is why — as a much-needed offensive spark plug — he’s the early camp MVP.

Related: Lauren and Justin sound off

When will Auburn football end its quarterback competition?


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