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March 31, 2013

7 at 7: Frazier’s love of fútbol, Diamond has Basketball Jones, Robenson Therezie video, Bret Bielema talks trash toward Tuscaloosa

1) Junior quarterback Kiehl Frazier took a Twitter hiatus once the 2012 football season began, and returned in mid-January with a new account. The majority of his timeline focuses on one particular sport.

Not football. Fútbol.

Clemson_Auburn13_9-1-12“I played soccer when I was little, and I’ve always followed soccer since I was little,” said Frazier, who shares his love of soccer with roommate and tight end CJ Uzomah. “Just the athleticism … it’s a beautiful game to watch.”

Frazier’s favorite Premier League squad is Manchester United, and he’s also a Real Madrid fan. Other walk-ons who enjoy the sport are quarterback Tate O’Connor and tight end Patrick Young.

“Me and CJ want to go to the World Cup next year, but we’ll see,” Frazier said. “We haven’t looked yet, but whenever (tickets) go on sale, we’ll definitely try to get in line.”

The 2014 FIFA World Cup runs from June 12 to July 13 next summer, hosted by Brazil.

Jordan Diamond2 Only four football players from Chicago (three metro, one suburbs) have ever lettered at Auburn.

Offensive lineman Jordan Diamond should be the fifth this coming year, coming off a shoulder injury which forced him to redshirt his first year on The Plains.

“It was tough in the beginning, getting accustomed to the pace of (living) down here in Auburn,” said Diamond, who went to Chicago Simeon – far more famous for its basketball than its football.

“But I loved it on my visit – every time I was hanging out with the guys, they made me feel at home. So I’m used to it now.”

The 6-foot-6, 314-pound Diamond, a five-star recruit, is naturally crazy about basketball – fellow Simeon products are NBA MVP Derrick Rose and blue-chip Duke recruit Jabari Parker. Diamond commonly shows up at Auburn Arena for men’s and women’s games.

“Yeah, yeah. I love Auburn,” Diamond said. “That’s why I came down here – I love the community, I love everything about it. Just getting an opportunity to play ball here is a blessing, so I’m taking every advantage I can to get around and enjoy my college experience.”

3) Video of cornerback Robenson Therezie from last week:

4) Bret Bielema’s first head coaching season was my first college football coverage season. I feel like I know that guy’s career than most outside Madison, Wisc.

Which is why Bielema’s #shotsfired at Nick Saban and Alabama isn’t very surprising to me. Really, it’s worth an ‘eh’.

As Jerry wrote, let’s consider the setting. Arkansas fans at a Razorback Club fish fry represents a completely different audience than a roomful of reporters, or even any gathering of general-admission fans. My experience at any back-slapping scholarship fundraiser is coaches let their hair down a bit, and maybe end up saying some stupid stuff that makes their biggest supporters (read: boosters) feel great about continuing to line their guy’s pockets.

With that in mind, Bielema has never shied away from calling out other coaches. It’s just the way he is. Hayden Fry and Barry Alvarez spoke their mind when they felt necessary, and Bielema’s even less buttoned-up than those legends. As Bielema’s real Twitter account shows, he could maybe use a little better judgment in dealing with criticism, but I know for a fact he reads mostly everything that’s written about him and his team. (I guarantee you Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn don’t have time for that.)

As for the comments themselves? Look, it’s Alabama, and then everybody else. Obviously – again, echoing Hinnen here – the SEC has more than one or two ‘other’ schools that gives this conference reason to boast loudly every fall. This is just a case of manufactured bravado in front of, again, loyal donors who want to hear it, and as long as Bielema’s comfortable with being who he is – much like Steve Spurrier is set in his ways – than he’s not about to change. And that’s fine.

By the way, Arkansas visits Alabama on Oct. 19, and Auburn goes to Arkansas Nov. 2.

AUBURN FOOTBALL

5) Great quote from sophomore offensive tackle Patrick Miller, when asked who were the best defensive linemen he saw last year. He answered LSU’s Sam Montgomery battling Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson.

“I didn’t go against him, but Sam Montgomery, I remember watching him go against Greg … and Greg’s, like, kind of like a beast. So is Sam. I was in awe watching that on film.”

6) Junior defensive tackle Gabe Wright understands why the Auburn defense is asked to move and live as fast as the offense.

“It’s going to help us be able to press (opposing) offenses,” Wright said. “The SEC really has become high-tempo teams – Alabama implemented theirs late in the season, Georgia and Texas A&M are really starting to use it more.

“I can’t point out any negatives in practice against the offense.”

7) Of course, coaches will be diplomatic when asked about individual players within a unit. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee likes what he’s seen out of multiple receivers, having nice things to say about Sammie Coates, Ricardo Louis, Jaylon Denson, Melvin Ray (still a walk-on) and Quan Bray.

“Sammie is a guy who made some plays down the field last year,” Lashlee said Friday. “I’ve been really impressed with how Ricardo Louis can stretch the field right now. He looks really fast out there. Jaylon and Melvin are big-bodied guys you feel like can really help you with the things we do. I think Quan has a chance to be really electric in the slot.”

AUBURN FOOTBALL

2 Comments

  1. …..Some coaches never have a bad word for the other teams (Saban, Chizik) and some talk a lot of smack. (Steve Spurrier) Bielema did show us Tigers back on Jan. 2 of 2006. Auburn swaggered into Orlando after going up on Alabama 21-0 in the first quarter en route to a 28-18 win over the top-10 Tide.

    …..While the heavily favored Tigers partied hardy in Disneyland, Wisconsin had boot-camp practiced. The Capital-Citrus Bowl that Monday afternoon was a blood-letting. Wisconsin rolled up 548 yards on the proud Auburn defense. Only because they squander about 2/3rds of their scoring opportunities was the game even close.

    …..Auburn lost 24-10 that day, in a game that seemed to signal a gradual decline in the program. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs skipped out on the post-game press conference, and Tommy Tuberville was again shopping for a defensive coordinator, being deserted at that post twice in less than two years.

    Comment by Acid Reign — March 31, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

  2. I, for one, though an avid Auburn fan, am holding my optimism until we get into OCT. We will then see if all the talk from the players like Whitaker, Wright, Ford, and others will transition into something of a defense that is SEC caliber or if it is the same old song. I believe the offense also has a lot to prove. Last year really hurt Auburn fans so its not just the players who have to put 2012 behind them. The only way to do that is for 2013 to be a whole-lota-different.

    Comment by mick — March 31, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

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