Maurice Swain is ready for Auburn's A-Day Game
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn coach Gus Malzahn gave another favorable report on another spring practice Tuesday, and new defensive lineman Maurice Swain agreed with his assessment.
"I've seen more intensity," Swain said. "They were happy today because I guess it's winding on down."
Auburn is indeed working toward Saturday's A-Day Game in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Swain said he could see a difference as the game draws closer.
"It wasn't too much the coaches had to say to get us right," he said.
Swain's first game at Jordan-Hare Stadium will be special. He's a junior college transfer who grew up an Auburn fan, who promised defensive line coach Rodney Garner he would play for him, who wants to show what new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is bringing to the Tigers.
"I'm very excited because people look at Auburn as an offensive team. We want to change their mindset. Auburn started as a defensive team, ever since I've been a fan. We're just trying to get back to it," he said.
Swain is from nearby LaGrange, Ga., and he says his family will be in attendance Saturday.
"I've been dreaming of this for a long time. Out of high school, I wanted to come to Auburn, but didn't qualify. In JUCO, I kept my promise to Coach G., and I'm here."
Malzahn, who was joined at practice by Cam Netwon, said there was "great energy" in Tuesday's workout.
"We challenged them before practice. The last week of spring a lot of teams a lot of times the guys will let up a little bit, especially before a big spring game, but our guys have had as much energy as they've had all spring."
Malzahn said A-Day will follow the format of the last two years: The offense will be on one sideline, the defense on the other. They'll be 12-minute quarters.
And there's a chance of rain. Malzahn said that's OK.
"We're Auburn. We're going to play no matter what," he said.
Malzahn said playing in front of a crowd was important to see "how our guys respond."
"Every spring game, or at least the last two, there's been one or two guys that really raise their level. I'm really hoping to see that. Hopefully, they react different in a positive way."
Auburn will trot out new quarterbacks and a new defense. Malzahn said fan interest in A-Day is "huge."
"We've had, I think, the No. 1 or the No.2 the last two years as far as attendance, that's huge. It's huge for our players and our coaches. It's huge for recruiting and just shows that we got the best fans in college football, which I always say. I think last year at this time I think it was 100 percent chance of rain and all that and our people still showed up and I think it waited until right at the very end. We're planning on playing and having fun with it."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine