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Hugh Freeze wants to rebuild Auburn’s offensive line play 2/1/2023 Nubyjas Wilborn,

Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze didn’t mince words on Tuesday when talking to reporters in Mobile during the Senior Bowl about last season’s disappointing pass protection.

“When I watch the tapes from last year,” Freeze told reporters. “I’m not sure if any of the quarterbacks had a fair chance sometimes. They didn’t get protected very well, and that starts up front.”

Freeze addressed the problem by aggressively recruiting in the portal. He signed Gunnar Britton (Western Kentucky), Dillion Wade (Tulsa), Avery Jones (East Carolina), and junior college lineman Izavion Miller during the first open window.

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Wade was the third-ranked offensive tackle in the portal. He comes to the Plains with two years of eligibility and started every game for Tulsa last season. He also played under current Auburn offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery when Montgomery was the Tulsa head coach.

Jones was the highest-rated available center, and Britton was the sixth-rated offensive tackle. Miller was one of the best JUCO linemen. Signing four potential starters on the offensive line is an impressive feat necessary for the Tigers’ hopes to reestablish themselves as a viable contender.

Auburn had seven offensive linemen on scholarship when Freeze arrived as the head coach. He likes to carry 16 linemen and wants to sign one more during the open period following spring football.

“I have a certain belief in roster management and how to build a roster. I thought we got a really good mixture of young kids that we signed in high school,” Freeze said. We had some that were mid-year enrollees. And obviously, the portal guys who have played a lot of football, you depend on them to play. No one gets a starting job, but you don’t recruit those guys to sit around, for sure.”

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