With 29 days until Auburn football opens its 2018 season in Atlanta against Washington, the Tigers have officially returned to practice.
Gus Malzahn's group opened fall camp Friday afternoon, at which the media was provided a 20-minute viewing window. Here's what The Plainsman observed:
- Quarterbacks and tailbacks swapped around in run-pass option drills. It appeared there was no correlation between the quarterback taking snaps and the back he was handing to — Jarrett Stidham was handing to Malik Miller, Malik Willis to C.J. Tolbert, etc. True freshman Shaun Shivers and fullback Chandler Cox were also receiving carries. Joey Gatewood has also changed his number from 1 to 13. New quarterback commit Cord Sandberg has yet to report to campus
- Wide receivers Eli Stove and Will Hastings (ACLs) were moving with quickness in drills while in orange non-contact jerseys and leg braces. Malzahn said at SEC Media Days he expects at least Hastings to return by the middle of the season. Running back transfusion Devan Barrett and versatile true freshman Harold Joiner were working with receivers instead of tailbacks.
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ACL-injured wideouts Eli Stove and Will Hastings running drills in their non-contact jerseys. Kodi Burns also gives Devan Barrett pushups for jogging.— Nathan King (@nathankingdra) August 3, 2018
Stove looked especially quick. Hastings with a brace on his left leg, Stove on his right. pic.twitter.com/bYCpkMXryr
- J.B. Grimes has his first-team offensive line, for now. Grimes had Prince Tega Wanogho at left tackle, Marquel Harrell at left guard, Kaleb Kim at center, Mike Horton at right guard and Austin Troxell at right tackle. Massachusetts transfer Jack Driscoll was backing up Troxell, while former five-star tackle Calvin Ashley moved inside at backup right guard. Guard Brodarious Hamm and center Nick Brahms sported non-contact jerseys.
First team offensive line:— Nathan King (@nathankingdra) August 3, 2018
RT - Austin Troxell
RG - Mike Horton
C - Kaleb Kim
LG - Marquel Harrell
LT - Prince Tega Wanogho pic.twitter.com/82AAcZ1ote
- Few surprises came on the defensive line. T.D. Moultry and Big Kat Bryant rotated at Buck, as expected, while true freshman Richard Jibunor worked behind them. Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe shared time at defensive end. Defensive end Daquan Newkirk was non-contact.
- Jeremiah Dinson (non-contact) and Daniel Thomas were the first-team safeties, while Noah Igbinoghene has apparently found his permanent niche as a starting corner alongside Jamel Dean. Contrary to projections, junior Javaris Davis rotated in at corner instead of starting at Nickel, a position occupied by sophomore Jayvaughn Myers. Freshmen Jamien Sherwood and Smoke Monday were the backup safeties with John Broussard Jr. and Christian Tutt at second-team corner. Jordyn Peters rotated in for Myers at nickel.
- Seniors Deshaun Davis and Darrell Williams were the first-team linebackers with Michael Harris, Chandler Wooten, K.J. Britt and Montavious Atkinson all rotating in behind them.
Malzahn will hold the fall's first press conference tonight at 5:45 p.m. CST, with selected players speaking as well.
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