March 19, 2014
Wide receiver Sammie Coates works to break free during the first day of spring practice Tuesday (Lauren Barnard photo)
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - Wide receiver D’haquille Williams’ reputation preceded him to Auburn. He was the nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver with the kind speed, hands and athleticism that make get the attention of NFL scouts.
Williams, who signed with Auburn last December, practiced for the first time with his new teammates when the Tigers began spring practice on Tuesday. And it didn’t take him long to get the attention of the veterans in the secondary.
“He’s a competitor,” senior cornerback Jonathon Mincy said. “He’s going to talk. He’s going to get in your face. That’s something you want from your wide receivers. We are going to go out there and compete with him.”
Asked if he returned the talk in kind, Mincy grinned. “Definitely,” he said. “We’re not going to talk about it.”
Senior safety Jermaine Whitehead said it is clear that Williams and freshman receiver Stanton Truitt have game-changing ability.
“He reminds me a lot of Sammie (Coates),” Whitehead said. “He can get vertical fast, but also can put his foot in the ground and make plays across the field. Truitt is going to be a good guy, quick with his feet and great hands. There is a lot of confidence out of both of those guys. They are going to be able to help us real fast.”
Reed earns respect with move to cornerback
Senior Trovon Reed practiced at cornerback for the first time Tuesday after spending his first three Auburn seasons at wide receiver. One of the more popular and well-respected players on Auburn’s team, he earned more respect from his teammates.
“He looked good,” Mincy said. “He looked like he’s been playing corner for a long time.”
Whitehead welcomed the move.
“I always liked Trovon’s energy,” Whitehead said. “When he played offense, he was the guy I went at to get pumped and have a good day. Now he’s on my side of the ball. It’s going to be a long year for the offense.”
Numbers for the newcomers
Here are the numbers for Auburn’s five newcomers: 1 Williams, 10 Truitt, 52 C Xavier Dampeer, 24 S Derrick Moncrief, 47 TE Chris Laye.
Reed has switched from No. 1 to No. 25.
Tigers return to the field Thursday
Auburn will return to the practice field Thursday for the second day of spring practice. Saturday, the Tigers will practice in full pads at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: