April 17, 2014
Center Xavier Dampeer is among the Auburn players who will play in the A-Day game for the first time
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. – For safety Derrick Moncrief and center Xavier Dampeer, Saturday’s A-Day game is more than just another scrimmage, more than the final practice of the spring.
“It’s a dream come true for me to play on that field in front of Auburn fans,” said Moncrief, who grew up an Auburn fan in Prattville. “I’m preparing just like it’s a regular game. They had a great crowd last year, and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a great crowd again Saturday.”
Moncrief, a transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, is one of five newcomers on the Auburn roster, joining wide receivers D’haquille Williams and Stanton Truitt, center Xavier Dampeer and tight end Chris Laye.
“I can’t wait,” Moncrief said. “It’s going to be fun, but the main thing I want to do is go out there and play hard and get better.”
Dampeer, a transfer from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, is likely to get most of the first-team work on Saturday. All-SEC center Reese Dismukes will mostly watch.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Dampeer said. “Come Saturday, I’m going to be ready to put all my hard work to the test and see how far I have come. I am. I’m ready to step out there and see all the Auburn fans. I’m really going to embrace that.”
More than 20 players, including quarterbacks Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson, will play in the A-Day game for the first time.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn says he looks forward to seeing how players respond in front of an expected large crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“I think, as a coach, you always look to see how guys react in front of a crowd,” Malzahn said. “My experience is a lot of them react differently. It will give us a chance to evaluate that. Even the older guys, it’s always fun to see them flying around with a crowd out there.”
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: