'Our time' - Auburn concludes upbeat spring practice
Auburn wrapped up spring practice with a brief Tuesday workout following Saturday's A-Day game.
April 11, 2017

By Jeff Shearer
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn wrapped up spring practice Tuesday – going short in shorts - with the Tigers feeling optimistic about the season.

“I think the sky is the limit with us,” said Deshaun Davis, a junior linebacker. “I feel like we hold our own key to destiny. We came up with the phrase, ‘Our time,’ for our team motto, and I really feel like it is our time.

“We feel like our offense is way much better. On the defensive side of the ball, we feel like we can get better than we were last year. We hold the keys to destiny. If we fail, it’s all on us.”

The Tigers return the SEC’s leading running back tandem in juniors Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, who combined for 2,119 rushing yards in 2016.

“I have a great vibe about this team,” said Pettway, who averaged an SEC-best 122.4 yards per game. “The offense looks good. The defense is good. I feel really good about this season coming up.”

Special teams provides another phase in which Auburn ranks highly, with two-time Lou Groza Award finalist Daniel Carlson returning.

“I think we’re looking good,” said Carlson, who kicked five A-Day field goals, including a 55-yarder. “This has been a solid spring. Everybody’s come together. I think the team is really getting along well. Mostly everybody’s healthy, too. I’m excited about what we’re going to do this season.

In 2016, Auburn ranked No. 7 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 17.1 points per game.

 

 

“We’ll definitely compete, senior defensive back Tray Matthews said. “We’ll be in the top because of the effort that we give. Everyone’s hungry on offense and defense. And the defense – we still feel like we have something to prove. We want to continue to build that legacy here at Auburn and get it back to where it was.”

Sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham was the offensive MVP on A-Day, completing 16-of-20 passes for 267 yards while adding a rushing touchdown.

“He’s solid. He has a great arm. He’s very smart,” Matthews said. “He’s always up there talking to the coaches, Coach Lindsey. I’m just impressed with him. He kind of reminds me of Baker Mayfield in some ways with his passing game.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn says the competition for the starting quarterback position will continue into preseason camp, when junior Sean White will be fully recovered from an arm injury.

“I think Jarrett and Sean are two very similar players,” said Johnson, who ran for 895 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. “Both of them like to be the leader. Both of them like to command the offense. Both of them have supreme confidence in themselves. So they’re never going to go out there and not believe they’re going to be successful.

“To me, that’s what you look for in a quarterback, the command, the poise. I think both of them are very similar. Jarrett got to show what he can do today. I think he did very well. Now, they’ve still got to battle it out. It’s just one spring. We’ve got a long way to go.”

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

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