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October 31, 2012

Auburn notes: Coaches, coordinators love Wallace; Trooper no comment on allegations

AUBURN, Ala. – Jonathan Wallace has got a long way to go to be mentioned in the same sentence as Tom Brady, Chad Henne and Tim Tebow.

One thing those four quarterbacks do have in common is playing college football under coach Scot Loeffler at one point in time. Auburn’s offensive coordinator can name other shared traits.

“They’ve all had similar characteristics; they’ve all had tremendous work ethic, they’ve all been tough as all get-out, students of the game, and a will not to be average,” Loeffler said. “There’s some things you see in this young guy that are similar.”

Loeffler doesn’t anticipate his gameplan to dumb down much for his true freshman, slated to make his first collegiate start Saturday against New Mexico State.

“He’s extremely cerebral. You’d be shocked how much he knows,” Loeffler said. “He’s been a gym rat since he walked in the door. He’s been a grinder in every sense of the word.”

Wallace also received high praise from two other Auburn assistants.

“He appears to be a guy that really pays attention to detail, which rubs off on other guys,” defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said. “Between the athleticism and desire to be successful, it’s encouraging.”

And from wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor, “I just like the self-motivation of the kid … when he’s calling plays in the huddle, it sounds like he’s been doing it all his life.”

Feeling Breesy: Four days after overseeing the worst defensive performance in school history, VanGorder could only come up with one comparison in his own 24-year coaching career.

When he was Central Michigan’s defensive coordinator on Sept. 19, 1999, Purdue romped to a 58-16 victory behind future All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees.

“We had tackling problems, speed issues, execution issues, a couple third-down penalties, and we didn’t need to help them, that’s for sure,” VanGorder said.

Texas A&M rolled up 671 total yards, the most ever against Auburn.

“Just an accumulation of a lot of errors,” VanGorder said. “And they’re pretty darn good – a pretty bad matchup for us.”

No comment: Following Chizik’s lead, Taylor didn’t have much to say in response to USA Today’s Danny Sheridan’s remarks Monday that Taylor, Auburn’s assistant head coach, and recruiting coordinator/running backs coach Curtis Luper have been pulled off the recruiting trail while the NCAA conducts an investigation on the program.

“We really can’t comment about accusations, but I can tell you this: we have a plan in place for recruiting,” Taylor said. “We stick to that plan, and what this coaching staff is focused on right now outside of recruiting is winning a football game.”

Respect for Lattimore: Auburn head coach Gene Chizik holds no ill will against running back Marcus Lattimore for turning down an offer and choosing South Carolina over the Tigers.

Chizik joined the chorus of masses lending words of support to Lattimore, who suffered a catastrophic knee injury Saturday against Tennessee that looks to put the junior out of football until 2014.

“Everybody that doesn’t know him only sees him as a great football player, but when you get to know him and his family and his mom – just great people,” Chizik said. “I’m sure there is a great outpouring of affection for him and his family. It’s hard to see something like that happen to such a man. He’s a great player and probably a better person off the field. It was great to recruit him and get to know his family.”

Auburn sophomore Tre Mason, who wears No. 21 on his uniform like Lattimore, dedicated last Saturday’s game to his fellow tailback.

“That’s the respect he’s commanded for everybody across the country,” Chizik said. “He’s certainly deserving of that.”

Knocked out: Cornerback Chris Davis “does not appear” to be available for Saturday’s action, according to defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

Chizik said Tuesday Davis suffered a concussion a few weeks ago. His void would leave cornerback duties to Jon Mincy, Jon Jones and Josh Holsey.

Defensive end Dee Ford is getting better, while defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker and quarterback Clint Moseley (ankle) aren’t expected to suit up Saturday. Ford and Whitaker are nursing undisclosed injuries.

1 Comment

  1. How do you dumb down an offense that’s already incredibly stupid? Its a high school offense.

    Comment by Vince Doodley — November 1, 2012 @ 11:37 am

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