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New Leaders Emerging for the Tigers

Auburn Fan - In Gus We Trust

Spring is a time of year when mother-nature likes to hit the reset button. It represents a renewed spirit in many aspects of life and a chance to start over. That concept has definitely held true for Auburn during their spring camp. Players have slowly started separating themselves into those that are ‘All In’ and those that are falling behind.

Trent Fisher has received a lot of praise this spring from coaches. He’s described as a fiery competitor with an excellent understanding of the game and his position. It has been alluded to by some that perhaps Fisher’s increased reps this spring have been a tool to “send a message” to others, but those conjectures may be premature. I’ll take passionate, heads-up play any day of the week over entitlement.

Another defensive player that is really turning heads is Junior safety, Justin Garrett. Ellis Johnson has identified him as a strong leader and someone the Tigers’ defense will heavily depend on in 2013. Garrett has not had much notable playing time up to this point in his Auburn career, but he has emerged as an integral asset to the defense going forward. Justin Garrett is the perfect example of the kind of players that will need to step up this season. Chizik’s staff was not big into mixing up playing rotations very often. There are a lot of guys who might feel like they’ve got something to prove, not just to the SEC, but their teammates as well.

On the other side of the ball, there’s wide receiver Melvin Ray. Ray is returning to football after an unsuccessful professional baseball career. He has been outspoken this spring about how excited he is to get the opportunity to play football again. Originally a 4-star recruit, Ray’s maturity and work ethic could lead to big things for him on The Plains. Joining Ray, the offense has also seen Jaylon Denson (WR) and Cameron Artis-Payne (RB) emerge and become surprise contributors. Another encouraging sign is that C.J. Uzomah finally looks like he’s put himself in position to become the dynamic playmaker Auburn needs him to be.

For Malzahn, seeds are beginning to take root. Slowly but surely, things are beginning to resemble a much more unified group than has been present the previous two seasons. With new faces emerging in seemingly all the right places, Malzahn could possibly enjoy the fruits of his labor sooner rather than later. 

13 Comments

  1. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Shhhsh….I think they hear us coming!!!

  2. bornatiger says:

    Anybody know how I can watch aday game in Oklahoma I live out of state and it tough to get any game if its not on espn

  3. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    Well, I’m glad to here that some guys are stepping up to fill the vacuum of leadership that was clearly evident in last years squad. You have to have on field leaders for a team to be cohesive and make sure that each player is accountable to the others. T’Sharvan Bell was a vocal presence on the team last year but I’m not sure of how good a leader he was. I think Jake Holland TRIED to be, but he was lost out there last year, and you can’t lead a team if you can’t lead yourself. I was really dissappointed in guys like Dee Ford, Jeff Whitaker and Lemonier who let things get out of control. Hopefully the returning players realize what a complete disaster last year was and the behavior that led to it. You have to admit you have a problem, before you can fix it, and although I know the staff knows it, the kids need to admit it to themselves, that they were the problem, and resolve to never let those bad habits and mistakes creep back onto the team.

  4. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I read somewhere A-Day might be on espn3

    • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

      I just checked and it is “subject to blackout” Map not Available

      Doesn’t bode well.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          ……Typically, they black out the ESPN-3 stuff only in the state where the game’s played. In Alabama, you probably won’t see it. But I’d imagine Oklahoma would be fine to see it. Also, if you’re on Charter or Comcast cable, they carry CSS, and the game will be broadcast live, there. I think Cox carries CSS, too, if you’re on the Gulf Coast.

          • tigertracker says:

            Might also try seeing if game is on espn app on Xbox 360. Since espn has sec contract almost everything is there live streaming even if not carried on your regular tv package. I (unfortunately) discovered this during a terrible year for au basketball.

  5. bornatiger says:

    Thanks for the info on aday game wde

  6. mikeautiger says:

    The more I see of Ellis Johnson the more I like him. His deminor, knowledge, he calls a spade a spade, and he just has a positive ora about him. To the point, pulls no punches but is teaching, motivating and encouraging.

  7. sparkey sparkey says:

    Melvin way tweaked his ankle. It’s apparently nothing serious but he won’t be at practice this Spring any more.

  8. sparkey sparkey says:

    From what I understand, Grant has looked good in practice as well. I’d like to point out that Holland has been seen with the starting linebackers over and over again. In fact, there are some others that started last year you keep seeing line up with the first team. I don’t know what that means. I’m just telling you what they’re saying these days. Maybe those kids are putting the past behind them and finally deciding they’re going to be men instead of boys.