Those green jerseys aren’t so easy to earn, this year.
War Eagle, everybody! Spring has sprung, although you wouldn’t know it from the heavy layer of frost on the ground this morning. In less than a week, the Auburn Tiger football team will hit the practice field, and try to put the wheels back on the program. And encouraging news continues from the Plains.
Yesterday, Auburn coaches and select players met with the media and revealed some of the details of a grueling off-season regimen. When Auburn’s conditioning drills began, strength coach Ryan Russell instituted a three level system for grading players. All players started with an orange jersey, and had to earn their way up to “average,” or a blue jersey. Only guys working at a championship level could advance to a coveted green jersey.
On the very first day of lifting weights and running, three Auburn Tigers showed enough mettle and tenacity to earn the green shirt. These were Gabe Wright, Dee Ford and Jay Prosch. After last year’s team was pushed around up front, it was encouraging to hear that two defensive linemen made the grade!
It’s probably little surprise to anyone who follows Auburn football that Prosch has stepped up in the weight room. He was one of the few bright spots on a poor Auburn offense last season, and there’s little doubt that he be a valuable asset this fall in the Malzhan/Lashlee offense. Much like Eric Smith was a couple of years ago, Prosch will be a dynamite blocker from the H-Back position. In addition, we learned last year that he can catch the ball, and pick up first downs on short yardage situations. Prosch was not stopped for a loss all last season.
More good news after the jump!
This spring will feature another starting quarterback battle, something Auburn fans have become used to during the past five seasons. Junior Khiel Frazier and sophomore Jonathan Wallace are battling hard for the distinction, with both reputedly putting in long hours on their own in the film room, and during player-led workouts. May the best man win!
And finally, a bit of post-season non-football good news! Auburn’s lady Tiger basketball team took the floor last night in the first round of the NIT, and downed UAB by 23 points! The hustling, pressing Tigers forced 23 turnovers, and converted those into 30 points. Auburn was led by Tyrese Tanner, who scored 29 points. Here’s hoping the 80-57 win catapults the Tigers into a deep run through the tournament!
Also, the men’s baseball team picked up the pieces after a disappointing weekend getting swept by Vanderbilt. The team knocked out a couple of mid-week wins over Alabama State and Southern Miss, to run their overall record to 15-6. With tough teams like Vandy and LSU as SEC openers, the team can’t afford to drop those wins during the week, something last year’s team did frequently. We’ll be pulling hard for the Tigers against LSU this weekend in Louisiana.