News of the day, 8/4
Hey everyone. Today's practices didn't seem as oppressively hot. The morning practice lasted only 14 periods (90 minutes or so) and skies were overcast for the afternoon shindig.
Here are some things I saw. Keep in mind that I spent most of my practice-watching time with the linemen because it's fun listening to Hugh Nall
, Don Dunn
and Terry Price
was nuts on Saturday night. They were running some middle and inside drills where offensive linemen were supposed to block people. Pity the guys who had Sims. He beat everyone by being faster and more aggressive with his hands. Even offensive line coach Hugh Nall was praising Sims during the drills, which is pretty rare.
and Andrew McCain
, the two current candidates to start at right tackle, didn't fare well in the drills. There's talk that Nall will give redshirt freshman Mike Berry
a shot over there. Based on what I saw today, that might be a good idea.
... I feel bad for him. He just moved to DE from tight end and he's lost. Yet he has to run the drills. That's how you learn. One of the drills was particularly hard to watch. That's when King Dunlap
and Tommy Trott
double-teamed Slusher. The kid ended up on his back about 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. I'll give him credit, though -- Slusher kept trying.
, a freshman DE, is way too light to play right now but he's a fighter. He's active with his hands and he seems to have some rushing technique. He could be a good one after a year or two with strength coach Kevin Yoxall
*I thought Oscar Gonzalez
had a good practice at left tackle. That's Dunlap's spot for now, but Gonzalez has made a lot of improvement.
looked pretty good at left guard. He's very strong and understands leverage. He drives people pretty well.
and Nathan Farrow
, two guys trying to catch on at right guard, had a poor practice. Eddins leans too much and either misses the block entirely or gets pushed around. He's only a year into the position switch, though, so he has a lot of time to improve.
, another TE-to-DE guy, is getting a lot of coaching. That's a nice way to put it. He's trying to catch on behind Sen'Derrick Marks. It's not going all that well. It seems like Goggans gets sluggish more often than his teammates. Price is paying a lot of attention to Goggans, though, which tells me that Price believes he has a player here.
*Watching Josh Thompson
and Berry go at it in the middle is something else. Those are two burly dudes. They try to push each other back with no frills. It's like push-o-war.
News of the day, 8/3
Hey everyone. Let's get to business.
Auburn again ran two separate practices today on the intramural fields. The morning session involved mostly young players, though a few guys like Brad Lester and Merrill Johnson participated.
The evening session was pretty standard. The players still are in shorts and t-shirts, which severely limits what they can do. There's a lot of teaching going on, getting aligments correct and trying to determine which players work well together.
*Zac Etheridge, a Troy native, was running with the first-team defense at safety today. Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said Etheridge, a redshirt freshman, and senior Eric Brock are "bracketed" on the first team. Sounds like a position battle to watch.
*Fullback Carl "Hollywood" Stewart (pictured at right) went down with a injury to his right hamstring. He spent about 30 minutes lying on a table with ice on the back of his leg, then was moved to the athletic complex for further examination.
*The placekickers attemped a few field goals today during a team drill. Zach Kutch hit all three of his attempts. Freshman Wes Byrum hit a 35 yarder and missed from 40.
*Hilarious line from assistant coach Terry Price to defensive end Sen'Derrick Marks, who spun outside instead of inside during a drill: "Inside! You know inside the refrigerator. Now go inside here."
*Slot receiver Robert Dunn looked good today, making a few tough catches in reasonably good coverage. He's been the best wideout so far. Freshman Quindarius Carr also has looked good. If he plays this well with pads on, the Tigers will find a place for him.
News of the day, 8/2
Hey everyone. Let's get to business.
*Auburn held its first fall practice on Thursday morning. Since the team has only 19 newcomers, coaches asked several veterans to participate so the team could run some standard drills.
Some of those veterans included Tommy Trott, Brad Lester, Merrill Johnson, Bart Eddins, Bryant Miller, Darrell Roseman and Steven Ensminger. Players who participated in the morning practice won't be allowed to practice during the varsity practice tonight. Trott said they're planning to watch from the sidelines.
*Freshman Brent Slusher has been moved to defensive end. He'll be working behind Quentin Groves and Antonio Coleman.
*The early practice was pretty unremarkable. They were running on the most basic plays. Since they're not wearing pads, there was no significant contact. QB Kodi Burns' throws weren't particularly spiraly. That's the most memorable thing I saw.
*The varsity practice begins at 4 p.m.
I'll be updating as the day progresses.
Ryan Williams cleared/Freshmen report
Hey everyone. Auburn welcomed 19 newcomers to the team on Wednesday afternoon, some seven weeks after they arrived for voluntary summer workouts. Yet "Reporting Day" still is an event.
**Ryan Williams, one of the two Auburn signees associated with the Mobile grade-changing scandal, was cleared by the NCAA on Wednesday morning. He was not allowed to attend voluntary workouts, so he's well behind the other incoming freshmen.
**Still no word from the NCAA on DL Nick Fairley or WR Chris Slaughter.
The freshmen were given numbers on Wednesday. Some are duplicates and I listed them.
Also, Bynes, McNeil and Byrum asked that they go by different versions of their first names. I have listed them here.
35 Brent Slusher, TE
18 Kodi Burns, QB (yes, I know)
18 Wes Byrum, K (yes, I know)
17 Joshua Bynes, LB (Jonathan Vickers, QB)
85 Qundarius Carr, WR
45 Antoine Carter, DE
79 Jared Cooper, OL
58 Kyle Coulahan, OL
30 John Douglas, FB
90 A.J. Greene, DE
40 Bo Harris, LB
47 Adam Herring, LB
5 Mike McNeil, S (Tommy Trott)
50 Ryan Pugh, OL
76 Chaz Ramsey, OL
11 Mike Slade, CB (Steven Ensminger)
48 Bailey Woods, TE
73 Lee Ziemba, OL
Signing class update
Hey everyone. I was talking with a fellow reporter today about the number of kids who fail to qualify these days. That got me thinking about Auburn's class. Here's a run-down of the current academic situations:
FAILED TO QUALIFY
*TB Enrique Davis (Florida)
*LB Eltoro Freeman (Alabama/Ben Russell)
*DT Tim Lamb (Florida)
*ATH Johnnie Lee Dixon (Florida)
*DL Wilfred Journet (Louisiana)
*LB Carlton Johnson (Florida)
*OL Jermaine Johnson (Florida)
*OL Chris Zinn (Mississippi)
*DL Brandon Earl (Alabama/North Jackson)STILL AWAITING WORD FROM NCAA
*DB Ryan Williams (Alabama/B.C. Rain)
*OL Nick Fairley (Alabama/Williamson)
*WR Chris Slaughter (Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia)QUALIFIED
*TE Brent Slusher (Kentucky)
*QB Kodi Burns (Arkansas)
*LB Josh Bynes (Florida)
*K Wesley Byrum (Florida)
*WR Qundarius Carr (Alabama/Huntsville)
*DL Antoine Carter (Florida)
*OL Jared Cooper (Alabama/W.S. Neal)
*OL Kyle Coulahan (Florida)
*FB John Douglas (Georgia)
*DE A.J. Greene (Tennessee)
*LB Bo Harris (Milford Academy in Georgia)
*LB Adam Herring (Arkansas)
*S Michael McNeil (Alabama/Davidson)
*C Ryan Pugh (Alabama/Hoover)
*OL Chaz Ramsey (Mississippi)
*DB Mike Slade (Florida)
*TE Bailey Woods (Georgia)
*OT Lee Ziemba (Arkansas)
Montgomery Auburn Club reminder
The Montgomery Auburn Club will hold its annual barbecue dinner Wednesday night at Alcazar Shriners Temple on the East Boulevard.
Attendees will include coach Tommy Tuberville, university president Jay Gouge, alumni association president Ralph Jordan Jr. and team chaplain Chette Williams. The dinner costs $13 per adult, $9 per child.
Annual club dues -- $30 for a household or $25 for individuals -- will be accepted at the event. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6 o'clock.WHAT:
Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m.WHERE:
Alcazar Shrine Temple, 555 East Boulevard (near McGough Chevrolet)COST:
$13 per adult; $9 for kids
Preseason practice schedule
Hey everyone. Auburn has released its preseason practice plans. Tuberville believes in keeping practices open until legitimate game-plan stuff starts getting installed 10-14 days before the season opener.
That means everyone can roll by the Intramural Fields and catch a glimpse. I'll go ahead and say that sight lines for fans generally are terrible. The players usually are at least 50 yards away. That hasn't dampened fan enthusiasm, of course, but I thought that was worth a mention.
Remember that Fan Day is Saturday, Aug. 11 from 3-5 p.m. (in Beard-Eaves)
Here is the plan:THURSDAY, 8/2
Underclass practice @ 10 a.m.
Varsity practice @ 4 p.m.FRIDAY, 8/3
Underclass practice @ 10 a.m.
Varsity practice @ 4:30 p.m.SATURDAY, 8/4
Underclass practice @ 9 a.m.
Varsity practice at 4:30 p.m.SUNDAY, 8/5
Varsity practice @ 4:45 p.m.MONDAY, 8/6
Varsity practice @ 9 a.m.TUESDAY, 8/7
Practice 1 @ 8:30 a.m.
Practice 2 @ 7:30 p.m.
Varsity practice @ 4:30 p.m.
Practice 1 @ 8:30 a.m.
Practice 2 @ 7:30 p.m.FRIDAY, 8/10
Varsity practice @ 4:30 p.m.SATURDAY, 8/11
Varsity practice @ 8:45 a.m.
Hey everyone. I'm running a story on Monday that examines the idea of an early-signing period for football. SEC coaches voted 9-3 against the idea in May. You can read more about that in Monday's editions.
The story got me thinking about the recruiting schedule. In case you ever wondered, I have provided it below.
Before we get there, some phrases need to be defined.
1.) Contact period:
Coaches are allowed to meet with recruits on or off campus. Coaches may watch games. Coaches may correspond (phone, email, text*, write letters) at will.
2.) Evaluation period:
Coaches are allowed to watch games, but cannot talk with recruits or their families in person. Coaches may correspond at will. Recruits may visit campus.
3.) Quiet period:
Coaches are not allowed to meet with recruits on or off campus. Coaches are not allowed to watch games. Coaches may correspond at will. Recruits may visit campus.
4.) Dead period:
No communication is permitted. No contact, direct or indirect, is permitted.
* = Text messaging ban goes into effect on Wednesday.
Now that you're up to speed on the lingo, here's the 2007-08 football recruiting schedule:Aug. 1 through Nov. 24 -- QUIET PERIOD
Exceptions are as follows:DIVISION I-A:
Schools have six days (of their choosing) to evaluate players directly beginning Sept. 1. Authorized off-campus recruiters can visit the same school only once.DIVISION I-AA:
Schools have 42 days to evaluate players directly beginning Sept. 1. Those dates are designated in writing in the office of the director of athletics. Authorized off-campus recruiters can visit the same school only once per calendar day.Nov. 25 through Feb. 2 -- CONTACT PERIODALL DIVISIONS:
Schools are allowed a maximum of six in-person, off-campus contacts per recruit. Only one contact is permitted per week.
Dec. 16 -- QUIET PERIODDec. 17 through Jan. 1, 2008 -- DEAD PERIODJan. 2 through Jan. 3 -- DEAD PERIODALL DIVISIONS:
Coaches may have contact with players who have been admitted for mid-year enrollment, provided the prospect has signed a Letter of Intent or other offer of admission or financial aid. Those players must attend the orientations required of all students.Jan. 4 through Jan. 6 -- QUIET PERIODJan. 7 through Jan. 10 -- DEAD PERIODJan. 11 through Jan. 12 -- QUIET PERIOD
Jan. 13 through Feb. 2 -- CONTACT PERIODFeb. 3 -- QUIET PERIODFeb. 4 through Feb. 7 -- DEAD PERIODFeb. 8 through April 14 -- QUIET PERIODApril 15 through May 31 -- EVALUATION PERIODALL DIVISIONS:
Programs are given four weeks to evaluate recruits. Those dates are designated in writing in the office of the director of athletics. Authorized off-campus recruiters are allowed a maximum of two visits per recruit -- one to assess the recruit's athletic ability and one to assess the player's academic qualifications. If the recruiter evaluates a recruit's athletic and academic abilities on the same visit, that program is allowed a second visit to conduct another athletic assessment.June 1 through July 31 -- QUIET PERIOD