This and That on a Frosty Thursday
Just three weeks till A-Day!
(Photo by Acid Reign.)
War Eagle, everybody! It has been an interesting week at Auburn. The football team completed one practice in full pads and heads into spring break. The men’s basketball team heads to San Diego to play in the NCAA Tournament. Men’s baseball has taken off this season with a fantastic start, while the softball team struggled against SEC competition at LSU.
Auburn will take on Charleston Friday evening in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The game tips off at 6:30 PM CDT and will be televised on the Tru-TV Network. I’ll have to look that one up. I’m sure it’s somewhere in my cable package. Check your local listings. Auburn could have had a better draw, but it could have been worse. Charleston is a pretty good team that doesn’t beat itself, but I am not sure they have seen a team as speedy as this Auburn bunch is. As long as Auburn moves the ball and doesn’t just get into quick-brick-throwing mode, I think the Tigers will be fine. Should Auburn win, they will play Sunday at a yet-to-be-determined time against either Clemson or New Mexico State.
Spring Practice notes after the jump!
I suppose the most intriguing bit of news from spring drills in football is word that walk-on tight end Tucker Brown is now taking snaps at center. Rumor is that offensive line coach J. B. Grimes is having to start from scratch to put a line together and teach fundamentals. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, from Grimes, who is not afraid to throw younger players out there and feature them while benching veterans who don’t buy in. One need not look further back than 2013, when sophomore left tackle Greg Robinson went from obscurity to a first-round NFL draft pick.
There is a bit of concern on the defensive line. Presumed starting tackle Dontavius Russell was involved in a truck accident this week and dislocated his thumb. There is no word yet on how this will affect Russell in practice although I imagine that the staff will put a big bubble cast on that thing, and Russell will be out there anyway. The first day in pads, this unit really had its way with the offensive line, I’ve heard. Lots and lots of talent returns, and these guys seem motivated.
One area where competition is fierce is at running back. Auburn has been through a ton of them in recent years, and this year must replace Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway, both early entrants to the NFL. Word is that Auburn has 5 candidates for the starting job, and they will be a lot more live than in previous springs. My take is that Auburn has guys that can run well. My guess is that the team will start the guy who takes care of the ball, not to mention the quarterback. We’ve seen that Auburn would rather settle on one guy and ride the hot hand. I have to snicker at recent “by committee” talk. Sure, we’ll see lots of rotation on A-Day. By September, Auburn will have settled on one guy or will be in a whole lotta trouble at running back. Competitors this spring are, in no particular order, Kam Martin, Devan Barrett, Malik Miller, Asa Martina and JaTavious Whitlow.