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Coffee and Magnolia: 30 December 2014

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News and notes on this final day of 2014

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

AUBURN FOOTBALL

The Tigers have been wrapping up bowl practice in preparation for Thursday afternoon's game against Wisconsin. It has featured a number of interesting things, such as Nick Marshall fielding onside kicks, and the return of defensive end Carl Lawson to practice. Lawson will not play in the bowl game, but being back out on the practice field is news enough.

AL.com has video of Will Muschamp observing practice today. With a whistle around his neck. Now I don't mean to be telling tales out of school, but a little birdie hinted to me that BOOM may be a little bit more involved with practice than just "observing" and "offering suggestions" as we've been led to believe. Don't be too surprised if the defense has some resemblance to Muschamp's style of play at times on Thursday.

Cameron Artis-Payne fired a shot across the bow today when he claimed that he could run for 2,000 yards in the B1G, as Melvin Gordon has done. Not to be outdone, Gordon responded by saying that he believes he could put up the same type of numbers in the SEC that he does in the B1G.

The official site has two very good interviews with some players the media hasn't otherwise been able to speak with. First is Jermaine Whitehead, who has dealt with a mid-season suspension and come back strong at the Safety position for the Tigers. The second article is a talk with Duke Williams, who apologized to his teammates and the Auburn Family and confirmed that he will - in fact - be returning for his senior season at Auburn.

In recruiting news, 4* Safety Jordan Colbert - an Auburn commit - has been showing out at the high school all star practices. He has also been making big claims about the future of Auburn's defense with his fellow recruits and new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. I hope Colbert does great things at Auburn. He is the first commit I can ever recall for Auburn coming from my home town of Griffin, GA.

In good news for former Auburn running back Ben Tate - who played his last game as an Auburn Tiger in the Outback Bowl in 2009, he has landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the playoffs. Good luck to Ben.

AUBURN BASKETBALL

The ladies fought hard, but fell 44-42 to Hampton in the championship game of the FIU Fun & Sun Classic. The ladies will begin SEC play on Friday in Columbia, S.C. against one of the top teams in the nation, the South Carolina Gamecocks.