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Football notebook: Bradley sheds pounds in the offseason

Aug. 1, 2013


Nosa Eguae meets the press Thursday as Auburn reports for fall practice (Todd Van Emst photo)

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AUBURN, Ala. - Junior college transfer defensive tackle Ben Bradley made a big move late in spring practice. And he made bigger move after spring practice.

Bradley, who proudly tweeted about his accomplishment, lost 34 pounds, going from 322 pounds to 288 pounds in the offseason. His body fat percentage fell from 32 percent to 24 percent.

"When they got him in here, they told them you have 'Go out there and you have to get your body right,'" senior defensive end Nosa Eguae said. "He went out there and did it. That's a testament to him, a testament to everyone around him just keeping him positiv,e because it was tough. I definitely salute that guy."
--Phillip Marshall

A new number for Dee Ford

Veteran defensive end Dee Ford has changed his number, from No. 95 to No. 30.

Here are some other new numbers of freshmen and junior college players on your roster…

(There's still no No. 2, which happened to be Cam Newton's number):

1 Montravius Adams DT 6-4 305 FR Vienna, Ga. (Dooly County) 
3 Dominic Walker WR 6-1 211 FR Orlando, Fla. (Evans) 
6 Jeremy Johnson QB 6-5 219 FR Montgomery, Ala. (Carver) 
8 Tony Stevens WR 6-4 190 FR Orlando, Fla. (Evans) 
14 Nick Marshall QB 6-1 210 JR Pineview, Ga. (Garden City CC) 
21 Mackenro Alexander DB 5-11 192 FR Immokalee, Fla. (Immokalee) 
22 Khari Harding DB 6-0 223 FR Edmond, Okla. (Edmond Santa Fe) 
23 Johnathan Ford RB 6-0 186 FR New Hope, Ala. (New Hope) 
25 Peyton Barber RB 5-11 217 FR Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton) 
37 Kamryn Melton DB 5-10 173 FR Dothan, Ala. (Dothan) 
44 Cameron Artis-Payne RB 5-11 210 JR Harrisburg, Pa. (Allan Hancock JC) 
47 Cameron Toney LB 6-1 236 FR Huntsville, Ala. (Huntsville) 
50 Ben Bradley DT 6-1 295 SO Norcross, Ga. (Hutchinson CC) 
55 Carl Lawson DE 6-2 258 FR Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton) 
80 Marcus Davis WR 5-9 176 FR Delray Beach, Fla. (American Heritage Boca-Delray) 
97 Elijah Daniel DE 6-2 264 FR Avon, Ind. (Avon)

Check out the entire roster here.
— Charles Goldberg

Auburn rings bell for practice

Strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell’s bell rang often this summer, and Auburn football players cheered. 

Russell, who joined first-year coach Gus Malzahn’s staff last December, put a bell in the locker room. When a player achieved a personal record, he was allowed to ring the bell. 

"It’s awesome,” senior linebacker Jake Holland said. “When somebody rings a bell, it really fuels the emotions in the weight room. Everybody gets pumped up and cheers everybody on. It makes it more of a unit instead of just one guy getting better.”
 Phillip Marshall 

Moving fast in that weight room

Eguae said he's ready for football practice to start Friday after a summer with Russell. 

"It was really intense in the weight room," Eguae said. "Everybody was really flying. We were always moving." 

Eguae pronounced the team was in "great shape." 

"The competition was with yourself, and you were competing against other guys." 

Eguae said he checks in at 269 after adding six pounds of muscle. 

Eguae said the team isn't dwelling on last year's 3-9 record, "but we definitely have in the back of our minds." Eguae said he'd use last season as motivation for this year. 

"We can't wait until Aug. 31" and the opener against Washington State.
— Charles Goldberg 

Newcomers make big impression at QB 

Junior college transfer Nick Marshall and freshman Jeremy Johnson, Bray said, have been impressive throughout the summer. 

“Both of them have good, solid arms, big frames, athleticism,” Bray said. “It’ll be a run, definitely.” 

Bray said four quarterbacks competing for the job does not pose a problem for receivers.

“We try to get the feel for all of them,” Bray said. “We’re not going to know who the guy is until he’s the guy. We just try to catch every ball that is thrown to us.”
— Phillip Marshall 

Summer camp 

Punter Steven Clark and place-kicker Cody Parkey attended the Kohl's kicking camp in Wisconsin over the summer. A lot of other kickers did, too. 

Clark averaged 39.8 yards per punt last year. More importantly, he dropped 15 punts inside the 20 and only five of his 70 punts were returned. 

"I've always been able to get the ball high. I'm working on being able to control the distance based upon the situation. I'm just getting more comfortable with all aspects in the kicking game," Clark said.
—Charles Goldberg

Big test coming for Auburn freshmen 

Junior wide receiver Quan Bray said Wednesday he has been impressed by freshmen Tony Stevens, Dominic Walker and Marcus Davis. But he said they will experience something very different as preseason camp begins Friday. 

“I tell them to just get mentally prepared,” Bray said. “It’s going to be a grind. It’s still a grind for me, and I’ve been here a couple of years.” 

Keeping up with the pace of head coach Gus Malzahn’s offense, Bray said, is a major test for players who were in high school just three months ago. 

“It’s definitely hard,” Bray said. “My freshman year running Malzahn’s offense and everything going so fast, you have to get your mind right. Definitely.” 

Holland said the challenge goes deeper than the physical demands on the field. 

“Living on your own, having to go by a schedule every day, it’s different,” Holland said. “If you have guys ahead of you who can kind of show you the ropes, it makes a lot of difference.”

Holland said he welcomes playing that role for freshman Cameron Toney

“Cameron and I are good friends,” Holland said. “I’m looking forward to kind of teaching him what I know. I’m looking forward to this camp and seeing what he has to offer.”
 Phillip Marshall

Holland working to reclaim his job

Holland had a trying spring. He had a class in building science, his major, that could not be changed. He missed some practice and meeting time, and redshirt freshman Kris Frost moved ahead of him at middle linebacker. 

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson says the job remains wide open.

 “It was my last spring, and it was a lot to handle,” Holland said. “I feel like I handled it well. Going into the fall, I have some competition. I’m looking forward to that, and getting my job back.” 

Holland said the notion that college football players aren’t also serious students if far off base.

“That’s so untrue,” Holland said. “What we are here for is to get a degree first. From Day 1, I decided to get a good one. It’s difficult to handle with time schedules and things like that. I just put in a lot of hard work and get through it.”
 Phillip Marshall




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