Auburn already is up and running at fall camp. Here’s a look at three position battles to keep an eye on as the Tigers head into 2012:

1. Quarterback

Top contenders: Kiehl Frazier, Clint Moseley 

This became a two-man battle on Wednesday with the news that freshman QB Zeke Pike is no longer with the team. Frazier saw the field in all 13 games as a freshman in 2011. He was used mainly in a Wildcat role, finishing third on the team with 327 rushing yards on 76 attempts. However, he only attempted 12 passes -- two of them were intercepted. If he can improve his accuracy and overall command of the offense, it could be his job to lose. If not, Moseley, a junior who started five games in 2011, might get the nod.

2. Linebacker

Top contenders: Jonathan Evans, Justin Garrett, Kris Frost

Daren Bates and Jake Holland are the presumptive starters at two of the three LB spots, but the new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder is looking for one more to emerge. Evans is a returning starter, but missed spring practice with an injury. Frost, a former five-star recruit, sat out all of 2011 with a shoulder injury. He is back and coaches have raved about his athleticism over the summer. Garrett has great range and got a chance to show some of what he could do in nine games in 2011.

3. Running back

Top contenders: Onterio McCalebb, Tre Mason, Mike Blakely, Corey Grant

It will likely be a running back-by-committee approach after the departure of top RB Michael Dyer. Still, these four will battle for touches in new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s scheme, which is expected to be more run-friendly. McCalebb has the most experience and speed of the bunch. The senior is No. 15 in school history in rushing (2,016 yards), and he is sixth in receptions by a RB (45). He’s explosive, but he’s not an ideal every-down back at about 170 pounds. That’s where the others will come in to play. Mason came on to the scene with 64 yards on nine carries in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl win over Virginia last season. Blakely, a transfer from Florida and Grant, a transfer from Alabama, also will get their first chance to show what they can do.


For more up-to-the minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Larry Hartstein and Daniel Lewis, follow @CBSSportsSEC.