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'Real football' awaits Auburn in Saturday's first scrimmage
Gus Malzahn says he's challenging Auburn's players to take the next step in their development.
March 22, 2017

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn will hold its first spring scrimmage - "real football" as Gus Malzahn calls it - Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"A lot of times guys react differently in those situations," Malzahn said. "It's just more a big picture standpoint, being the first scrimmage."

Auburn's veterans will feature prominently in the scrimmage along with the newcomers, Malzahn said.

"Not just the young guys, seeing who can possibly help, but even those older guys," he said. "The thing we've challenged our guys who are returning starters: take that next step. Take that next step to being an impact player.

"We challenged our young guys, a handful of young guys we feel like after five practices we've figured out, `those guys have a chance to help us' -- they need to take that next step."

Saturday's scrimmage will mark the midpoint of spring practice. Thursday's practice, the seventh of 15, will focus on red zone situations.

"It'll be a good scrimmage. Give everybody a chance to play," Malzahn said. "It'll be pretty basic football. Give us a chance to evaluate our guys and see where we're at.

"Who can tackle, who can protect the football, who can break a tackle, who can make a play when it's a scrimmage situation?"

Malzahn said will confer with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey before deciding whether Auburn's quarterbacks will off limits to contact in the scrimmage.

"You have situational things in spring and you're evaluating," he said. "You're rotating a bunch of guys. From a coaches' standpoint, you really look forward to those type of spring scrimmages, you learn a whole lot about the team."

Malzahn also said.... "John Franklin III will work primarily at wide receiver the rest of the spring. He played (receiver) some before we left (for spring break). Did some things on special teams. Everybody knows he's a very good athlete. He's got a great attitude and wants to help the team any way he can. He's really done a good job at that."



"Kyle Davis is still taking care of some personal business. Not sure if he's going to be back before the end of the spring. He will be back for the fall. It's just taking a little bit longer than we initially thought."

"Tyler Queen has asked for his release. We granted that. We wish him nothing but the best. He's a fine young man. Really in fairness to him, he's been banged up and not been healthy a whole lot since he's been here. But he's a fine young man and has a great family and we wish him nothing but the best."

A Day

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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