Dabo Swinney settles either/or questions on Tigers' defensive depth chart

Jonathan Meeks, Xavier Brewer, Tig Willard tabbed as starters; Auburn has two first-game starters on OL

Clemson's Jonathan Willard tackles Wake Forest's Brandon Pendergrass.

Clemson's Jonathan Willard tackles Wake Forest's Brandon Pendergrass.

When Dabo Swinney released his pre-Auburn depth chart on Monday, there were signs of indecision everywhere.

Eight of the 22 spots on the starting roster, including seven defensive positions, were tabbed as 'OR,' with two players listed.

After Clemson's final practice for their opener Thursday evening, Dabo Swinney clarified the Tigers' lineup situation, in most cases naming a starter and changing 'OR' to 'AND.'

The only question mark on the offensive side settled itself when sophomore Gifford Timothy was declared fit to start against Auburn, which pushed redshirt freshman Shaq Anthony back into the No.2 position.

On defense, Tig Willard will start at 'Will' linebacker, ahead of Corico Wright. Jonathan Meeks and Xavier Brewer have been tabbed as the starting safeties, with Rashard Hall the backup at both positions.

Like Meeks, Brewer and Hall at the safety spots, Swinney said Grady Jarrett, DeShawn Williams and Josh Watson will all play in rotation. He'll pick two starters at game time.

Two positions still stand as either/or affairs: Corey Crawford and Vic Beasley battled inconclusively for the starting 'bandit' end position during preseason drills. The two players will rotate against Auburn.

The same is true at the 'Sam' linebacker/nickel back position, but for a different reason. Depending on Auburn's formations and Clemson's defensive personnel packages, Quandon Christian will play the spot as a linebacker, while Travis Blanks will fill the role of defensive back.

Auburn has also settled some of its final-week lineup questions.

Auburn's offensive line will feature a pair of first-game starters at the tackle spots, and a fill-in starter at center. Redshirt freshman Greg Robinson will start at left tackle, while Avery Young - one of the most higly-touted members of Auburn's 2012 recruiting class - will start at right tackle. Sophomore Tunde Fariyike will fill in for suspended starter Reese Dismukes at center.

Auburn is set at the guard positions with veterans John Sullen, a senior, and Chad Slade, a sophomore.

Coach Gene Chizik named Dee Ford and Craig Sanders as his starting defensive ends, ahead of two-year starter Nosa Eguae, who's been hampered by a shoulder injury.

Clemson released its official ACC injury report Thursday night. Three players - Justin Parker, Tony McNeal and Martin Jenkins (who underwent surgery on Thursday for a sports hernia) - are listed as 'out of for the season,' while Daniel Rodriguez is listed as 'probable' after missing practice time with a shoulder injury.

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