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March 27, 2013

Quick observations from Auburn practice No. 1


BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@ledger-enquirer.com


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.


  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.

    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…


    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

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