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March 27, 2013

Quick observations from Auburn practice No. 1

AUBURN FOOTBALL

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@ledger-enquirer.com

@WarEagleExtra

AUBURN, Ala. — Some news and notes to report from the first spring practice in the Gus Malzahn era. Remember, we only see 30 minutes, which mostly includes stretching and a few individual drills:

The Tigers are already working on the hurry-up, no-huddle, gone-in-sixty-seconds formations. The entire offensive unit was huddle near the sideline, then race to the ball – spotted at the 40-yard-line. They simulated four handoff plays with no switching personnel, capped by coaches yelling ‘Score! Score!’ and all eleven players mock-celebrating in the end zone. The entire exchange was followed by some up-downs on the sideline. Fast, fast, fast.

The No. 1 no-huddle units: QB Kiehl Frazier, RB Corey Grant, H-Back Jay Prosch, LT Shane Callahan, LG Jordan Diamond, C Reese Dismukes, RG Chad Slade, RT Patrick Miller, Slot Trovon Reed, outside WRs Sammie Coates and Jaylon Denson.

No. 2: QB Jonathan Wallace, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, H-Back C.J. Uzomah, LT Shon Coleman, LG Tunde Fariyike, C Alex Kozan, RG Michael Sulka, RT Avery Young, Slot Brandon Fulse, outside WRs Melvin Ray and Ricardo Louis.

No. 3: Frazier, RB Tre Mason, H-Back Quan Bray, LT Greg Robinson, Diamond, Dismukes, Slade, Miller, Reed, Coates and Denson. As you can see, some jumbling from what you’d expect from a normal depth chart.

One time when the managers, wearing referee shirts, weren’t prompt with handing out the necessary equipment for a particular drill, running backs coach Tim Horton barked, “Let’s go, let’s go.” Fast-paced was the only pace.

Number changes to report: cornerback Jonathan Jones is now No. 3 (was No. 21 last year); cornerback Jonathan Mincy is now No. 21 (was No. 6); wide receiver Ricardo Louis is now No. 6 (was No. 5.)

Early enrollees from the junior college ranks: No. 44 RB Cameron Artis-Payne, No. 50 DT Ben Bradley, No. 53 Devonte Danzey

The offense wore blue, the defense wore white, and the quarterbacks were in don’t-hit-me orange

The four quarterbacks in orange: No. 10 Kiehl Frazier and No. 12 Jonathan Wallace on scholarship, No. 17 Ben Durand (new walk-on) and No. 19 Tate O’Connor (returning). Of note: Frazier has put on eight pounds since the end of the 2012 season (up to 234), and Wallace is up 12 pounds to 209. Both QBs are listed at 6-foot-2.

Quan Bray, who played quarterback in high school, worked out in some read-option drills along with Frazier and Wallace. Of course, graduate assistant Kodi Burns was close by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rhett Lashlee in their first tutoring session.

The timing on some midrange routes was pretty good for practice No. 1. But a few of the deep routes were understandably off-target; while Uzomah looked good going deep, even guys like Prosch and Ricky Parks were asked to haul in throws 30 yards downfield.

Units were switching between the inside and outside practice fields on a sunny but chilly spring morning, with each session lasting five minutes.

Offensive tackle Avery Young and offensive guard Jordan Diamond look healthy coming off injuries. Diamond was the only O-Lineman in knee braces.

Several dozen visitors were prowling the sideline, including many from Opelika High School. As the Opelika-Auburn News’ Mike Szvetitz noticed, Opelika grad Corey Grant scored the first touchdown of spring drills.

Words heard multiple times Wednesday morning: Go. Hurry. Run. Move. These are going to be some caffeinated, cock-a-doodle-doo workouts.

8 Comments

  1. thought Landrum was at LB today, not TE

    Comment by WEs — March 27, 2013 @ 10:27 am

  2. Good call. I meant Ricky Parks. For some reason I got them mixed up. Fixed.
    -AB

    Comment by Aaron Brenner — March 27, 2013 @ 10:47 am

  3. Very good notes….!!!
    I look forward to reading more as spring continues.
    Please keep us informed on who YOU think is doing the best job at QB…

    thanks

    Comment by tim thomas — March 27, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  4. Based on what you saw, is the SEC Championship in the bag this year???

    Comment by michael — March 27, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

  5. Any thoughts as to why we would need to practice an endzone celebration after the first series of plays? That sounds stupid.

    Comment by tptoomers — March 27, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

  6. I get a very good feeling about this team and the coaches,and a lot talented running backs.

    Comment by John Scavens — March 27, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

  7. [...] the deal: I’ll continue to post solid Malzahn quotes as he’s speaking through our live chat – which was wildly popular Wednesday, more than we expected. (Bored at work much? Kidding! Kidding. Again, props to y’all for the [...]

    Pingback by 7 at 7: How we’ll cover spring football | plus Weight Watchers; Kris Frost is ready to fly | War Eagle Extra — March 28, 2013 @ 7:01 am

  8. [...] Quick observations from Auburn practice No. 1 [...]

    Pingback by Link to the past: Week One of the Malzahn era | War Eagle Extra — April 2, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

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