There were no real updates to come out of Thursday's practice, so while this is Practice #11, this is only our 10th update in this style. If you want to check out everything we've done this Spring, just click this handy link! There's not a whole lot of information, but there's some pictures, video, and some good bits from Gus' PC.
Before Gus met with the media, it was known from an early report that Tyler Queen and John Franklin III were live in this morning's scrimmage, while Sean White and Jeremy Johnson were not. My first thoughts on that were that it's because they've seen Johnson and White taking hits before. Gus said in his PC that it's because he wanted to see how he did with controlling the ball. I wonder if he fumbled a good bit last week or if he just wanted to see more about how he was in not throwing dumb interceptions when trying to avoid hits. The little nugget from Brandon Marcello (who ended his run with the al.com Auburn beat, yesterday, but still put out that tweet) is particularly exciting.
It's hard to imagine running back being a position of questionable depth after the last few years, but with Kerryon Johnson missing the spring and Peyton Barber gone, it really is a rather empty position. Auburn only signed one running back in the 2016 class, Malik Miller, but thankfully he's on campus this spring. Pettway and Cox definitely have the body style to be bruising short yardage backs.
It's nice to hear Ryan Davis and Darius Slayton are stepping up. Slayton has some series wheels and could be the best choice for a deep man to take the top off the defense. Ryan Davis is the shortest of the bunch, but we know he's great on Woody, already.
I know I shouldn't, but it's hard not to get excited about the thought we could have a very good defense this season. All the pieces are in place. The question will be what Kevin Steele can call on game day. I love hearing someone like Marlon Davidson is coming along fast. We know what we have in the others. There's so much potential in this D if the linebackers can find some good talent to go along with Williams, Davis, and T.J. Neal.
I'm guessing Auburn's opening day offensive line is going to be Austin Golson, Alex Kozan, Xavier Dampeer, Braden Smith, and Robert Leff. I can live with that. I hope Darius James is able to find some consistency to be ready if he's needed, though.
And now, to the Tweets!
Snapshots: Auburn's practicing football this Saturday pic.twitter.com/YPUDDlefFL— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) April 2, 2016
Watch it: Auburn quarterbacks throw it about at Saturday's practice pic.twitter.com/2bvAzURQWZ— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) April 2, 2016
Gus Malzahn Press Conference
Today was 1/2 practice, 1/2 scrimmage. Planned on going to JHS, but the ground was still wet.— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) April 2, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: First team 20 plays, second and third teams had more, JFIII did go live again— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) April 2, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: Chandler Cox and Kamryn Pettway continue to get work at RB, want more depth at position next year— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) April 2, 2016
Auburn quarterback John Franklin III was live in Saturday's practice. Jeremy Johnson and Sean White wore non-contact orange jerseys— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) April 2, 2016
Gus let JF3 go live to see how he protected the football, and he protected it well today.— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) April 2, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: JFIII picking up pre-snap part of offense, "very impressed" with way he's done that— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) April 2, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: Defense allowed to do whatever they wanted to do in scrimmage— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) April 2, 2016
Gus: "(The defense) is starting to gel."— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) April 2, 2016
Gus Malzahn said Saturday's Auburn practice 'really focused on developing the younger guys… Overall, our energy was very good.'— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) April 2, 2016
Gus says Darius James got 'dinged up' last Saturday. That would explain why he missed Tuesday's practice.— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) April 2, 2016
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: LBs Tre Wiliams and Deshaun Davis little ahead of other guys at position— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) April 2, 2016
Gus: "Ryan Davis is a guy you can really tell is taking that next step."— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) April 2, 2016
Also mentions Darius Slayton as a WR who has stood out.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: Far to say Marlon Davidson has progressed quickly, has the physicality— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) April 2, 2016
Austin Golson is still at tackle.— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) April 2, 2016
"He's starting to feel more and more comfortable."
Sources at scrimmage: John Franklin III "can fly," barely missed deep ball on scramble and looks part of starter; needs more consistency.— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) April 2, 2016