Gus Malzahn talks with Auburn fans of all ages in Eufaula
By Charles Goldberg
EUFAULA, Ala. -- He ran game film and video from practice, and praised his players and his coaches and broke down his offense and the defense.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn provided lots of scoops at his first Tiger Trek stop of the speaking season, and just a few of them were...
"You can't let these secrets out," he told the enthusiastic fans.
But the sold-out crowd at the Barbour County, Dale County and Wiregrass Auburn Club meeting took it all in, giving Malzahn a standing ovation when he arrived and another when he left. (Hint: He likes his team.) This was the first of seven Tiger Trek stops and Malzahn provided a fast-paced preview of his football team.
"I wish fall started tomorrow," he said.
Malzahn talked of quarterback Jeremy Johnson and his receivers and running backs. And promised the defense would be physical with defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
Before the dinner, Malzahn told reporters that Auburn completed its spring goal.
"Our coaches have a better understanding of what we have," he said. "Our players are extremely close and they're trying to do what our coaches are asking them. I'm looking forward to the summer, but overall I think we're in a really good spot."
Some other highlights...
· He said he was surprised center Reese Dismukes and quarterback-turned-cornerback Nick Marshall weren't selected in the NFL Draft, but predicted both would have good pro careers.
· He said it's too early to worry about polls, even though some think highly of Auburn.
"We have high expectations regardless of what people think," he said. "Usually, you need to start thinking about polls toward a little more than the halfway point, and everything really takes care of itself. We don't get too caught up one way or another before the season starts."
That was in the sunlight with the media. Inside, he told the Auburn club to get ready for the football season.
"Buckle up," he said.
Upcoming Tiger Trek stops (some with basketball coach Bruce Pearl)
Tuesday: West Georgia, West Georgia Technical College Callaway Conference Center in LaGrange.
Wednesday: Atlanta Area, The Retreat at Perimeter Summit
Thursday: Alabama Gulf Coast Club, Orange Beach Event Center in Orange Beach
Monday: Shoals Area Club, Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence
May 12: North Alabama Regional, Ingalls Harbor Pavilion in Decatur
July: Greater Birmingham Club, in association with SEC Media Days
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine