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Gus Malzahn likes Auburn's energy in early spring work
March 3, 2016

John Franklin III and Gus Malzahn take in Auburn's second practice of the spring
John Franklin III and Gus Malzahn take in Auburn's second practice of the spring

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. The energy was high in Auburn's second practice of the spring, and the Tigers showed it across the board, said Gus Malzahn.

Even new receivers coach Kodi Burns was in overdrive.

"Those guys are flying around out there, and Kodi's flying around with them," Malzahn said Thursday.

Auburn practiced in helmets the first two days, but the Tigers will be in full pads the next time out, Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Malzahn said the Tigers won't scrimmage, but did promise things would be physical and there could be tackling.

So far, it's been good for Auburn.

"The things that stood out to me was our energy, a lot of positive energy," Malzahn said. "When you're in helmets, the big thing is you teach the little things. You do a lot of the individuals. Saturday will be very good to us to kind of see where we're at.

"The first two days we rotated pretty much equal reps for everybody on both sides of the football, just trying to give everybody a foundation. Saturday, we'll learn quite a bit. We'll be pretty physical. Overall, I kind of like where we're at. I like our coaches and our players' energy."

The rotation involves the quarterbacks, now four deep with Jeremy Johnson, Sean White, John Franklin III and the return of Tyler Queen, who missed last season after undergoing elbow surgery.

"All four have done some good things and they really want to get better," Malzahn said. "I feel good about the competition we have there. We'll continue to coach all four of those guys and see what happens."

Malzahn said Queen is "on a pitch count as far as his arm is concerned. But you can tell he's excited.

"The first day we were seeing how it was going to respond. He threw the ball the same amount today, so I think right now he's in a good spot."

And down the road, Malzahn said he may put his quarterbacks in harm's way.

"We're liable to go live this spring. Usually when you do that, things separate a little quicker. If we do that it will be after spring break. That's something we've talked about, especially if no one really separates themselves."


Malzahn was asked about his sporty new wheels, a BMW i8 with butterfly doors.

"I’ve never had a sports car and I turned 50. I figured it was time to go ahead and get one," he said.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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