AUBURN, Ala. – The first-day luster is wearing off. Now we’re into the grind of every-other-day sessions, and we’ll see what can be ascertained from a 30-minute window.
Today, we saw mostly stretching, special-teams work and a slice of team drills.
Take it for what it’s worth, but in the one drill I saw involving the entire defense, this was the first unit working together Friday:
Safeties: Jermaine Whitehead, Demetruce McNeal. Cornerbacks: Jonathan Mincy, Chris Davis. Star LB/S: Justin Garrett. Linebackers: Jake Holland, Cassanova McKinzy. Defensive tackles: Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson. Defensive ends: Dee Ford, Nosa Eguae.
Garrett would be the interesting name to watch there. A potential hybrid linebacker/safety.
Top defensive end recruits Carl Lawson and Elijah Daniel were on hand, closely watching the defensive line drills. I blogged yesterday that J.B. Grimes was my pick for which coach yells the loudest – and he might still be the pick pound-for-pound pick – but defensive line coach Rodney Garner is going to be in those linemen’s ears all spring and summer long.
Well, Grimes does have competition in the little-guy-loud-yeller department from a support staffer. Strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell has an unmistakable bark.
The Charlie Harbison and Melvin Smith storyline is those two are like brothers. They’re basically twins when they stand 30 yards away opposite each other, leading the same drill, coaching the same techniques to Harbison’s safeties and Smith’s corners.
Take it for what it’s worth, but in the one drill I saw involving the entire offense – which was that two-minute drill with no subbing – this was the first unit working together Friday:
QB Jonathan Wallace, RB Corey Grant, H-back Jay Prosch, WRs Ricardo Louis and Melvin Ray (again, grain of salt, people), TE/slot Brandon Fulse, LT Greg Robinson, LG Jordan Diamond, C Reese Dismukes, RG Chad Slade, RT Patrick Miller.
It appears four-star recruit and redshirt freshman Alex Kozan is getting a look at center, but he’ll need to work on shotgun snaps. A high delivery was tipped by his quarterback, Kiehl Frazier, and tailback Cameron Artis-Payne grabbed it instinctively, which meant the flow of the drill wasn’t interrupted.
A number of players are getting chances to return punts. Quan Bray, Ricardo Louis, Tre Mason and Corey Grant are the usual suspects. Scott Fountain wants a playmaker back there, it might take up until the season begins to find one specifically at that position.
A balance of guys wore short-sleeved jerseys, and guys wore long Under Armour shirts or leggings. It was still chilly, but warming up from Wednesday’s early-morning frost.
Guests from Montgomery, Florida and Georgia were on hand. (I’m sure there were from other locations too.) Former Florida State assistant Dameyune Craig was shaking hands with some Florida guests.
Later today: coach Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson address the media at 10 a.m. CT.