It's been an eventful past few days, as the Tigers have gone five days straight of practicing since hitting the field Wednesday. Sunday was their first day in pads. Today they get their first day off before getting to the first scrimmage of the preseason tomorrow.
What are the biggest stories of those last few days? Well, let's talk about them.
1) Jovon Robinson's Dismissal.
This is the obvious #1. The Tigers' presumed starter and workhorse back was dismissed from the team prior to the first day of camp. So, Auburn goes from having a pretty clear picture of the #1 and some good backups to "which one of the backups is going to start?"
Regarding the circumstances of Robinson's dismissal, I think Gus Malzahn made the right choice. It appears Jovon had a few incidents (whether they were very serious or not) and didn't have a good attitude. Perhaps he thought he was above serious punishment because of the depth chart. Regardless, Gus Malzahn has apparently learned from the Duke Williams situation and isn't going to let one player become a cancer to the team. Even Jovon's JUCO coaches support Gus, so I'm going to go with he made the right move.
Where does that leave Auburn, though? I'm guessing with a committee backfield. Maybe someone emerges as the clear #1. If one does, my money is on Kamryn Pettway. Don't rule out Malik Miller, though. He was the workhorse back for Madison Academy in high school with Kerryon Johnson as the all-purpose back. We could see a repeat of that duo on the field this season.
2) How is the QB race going?
It says a lot that something was able to supplant this one as #1 in the first week. Reading the tea leaves of coach comments in their press conferences, it sounds like John Franklin III may not be as far along as many would like. I know there are some saying he is the only hope, but I don't believe that. I do still think that if the season started right now, then Sean White is the starter. That can always change, though.
Gus was asked about a starter being named soon just yesterday. He somewhat deflected the question saying it's possible it could be this week. I know they'd like to name one, soon, but I also wonder if they'll publicly say who it is. There are no more media windows, but I'm sure word will leak out somehow about who is getting the most reps with the 1s in practice whether Gus names a starter or not.
3) Who is injured?
Well, Kyle Davis started Fall Camp injured, which is horrible. Davis was someone I (and plenty of others) were hoping would be a Game 1 contributor. That could still happen, but it's harder for him to be prepared when he hasn't been practicing.
Stephen Davis Jr, the last addition to the 2016 class, was briefly being considered at RB, but now he's going to redshirt this season as he rehabs the injury he was dealing with in high school.
Prince Sammons is also out after having foot surgery. He's expected to miss the first few weeks of practice due to that. He's a true freshman at a position that is pretty good on depth this season (next year is a completely different story), so his injury isn't a huge deal at the moment. That might change if anyone else on the offensive line gets hurt, though.
Tre Williams tweaked an ankle the other day. This may be the biggest of them all, as Tre is Auburn's returning linebacker with the most experience and was a sure thing to start. He's supposed to be in the day-to-day type situation, but I've learned to not believe anything about how serious an injury is with a player from this staff.
Those are the only major injuries, at the moment. If it stays that way, I'll be very happy.
4) What's the status of transfer Marshall Taylor from Miami-Ohio?
Taylor hasn't been with the team, yet. No specific reason has been given as to why, though there is speculation that it stems from an incident that was also part of Jovon Robinson's dismissal. We were told the other day, though, that they do expect Taylor to rejoin the team sometime this week. We'll see if it happens.