Football Notebook, Day 3: Leaders emerge for Auburn

Aug. 5, 2013

Senior Chris Davis says he's working hard to be a team leader

AUBURN, Ala. – Almost from the time he arrived last December, Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn has called for team leaders to step forward.

And he said Sunday, after the third practice of preseason camp, that he’s seeing some of them do it under difficult circumstances.

“We are straining them,” Malzahn said. “It’s hard to be real vocal when we are practicing at the pace we are. (Center) Reese Dismukes and (H-back) Jay Prosch on offense are still vocal. Of course, Justin Garrett. I think those guys in the back end, like Chris Davis. There are some really good leaders there, too.”

Davis, a senior cornerback, said he has made a strong effort to be a leader for his teammates in the way he saw T’Sharvan Bell do it last season.

“It’s been a good transition after watching T-Bell lead the team last year,” Davis said. “I sat back and learned from him. He’s a very vocal leader and leads by example. I think it’s been a good thing for me. It’s just leading by example, getting the team riled up, just the energy in the room.”
-- Phillip Marshall

At 244 pounds, Frost stands strong at MLB

Kris Frost toyed with the idea of playing receiver in college, but Auburn always saw him as a linebacker. He's grown into the role, now at a solid 238 pounds after reporting in 2011 at 215 for what was a redshirt season. He's gained five pounds since last season.

Frost left spring practice as the No. 1 middle linebacker.
-- Charles Goldberg

Moving around on the offensive line

Malzahn said offensive line coach J.B. Grimes continues to look at different combinations.

“Coach Grimes is trying to rotate some guys in and give them a chance, too,” Malzahn said. “We’ll have a chance to have some depth, which is always good. We are just trying to figure out who they are and how they stack up.”

Sophomore Pat Miller, the returning starter, has been sharing reps at right tackle with sophomore Avery Young and redshirt freshman Shon Coleman.

“Pat left spring in that spot and is doing a solid job,” Malzahn said. “Avery is a very good player. Shon Coleman we’ve been mixing and matching at left and right tackle. I know the first day or so it looked like they were all at right.”
-- Phillip Marshall

Davis wants to return kicks

Davis has worked as a kick returner during the first three days of practice and hopes to get a chance to do it at gametime.

“I hope so,” Davis said. “That’s my plan. I think I’m doing well, real well. I’m just going to keep going out there trying to do what I can do to win the job.”
-- Phillip Marshall

Smith wins over the cornerbacks

Auburn’s cornerbacks didn’t know Melvin Smith when he arrived last December, but Davis says Smith has won them over in a big way.

“He’s a very exciting, bright man,” Davis said. “He keeps us laughing in the meeting room. He’s very funny. We love to play for a guy like him.”
-- Phillip Marshall

Bits and pieces …

True freshman Mackenro Alexander has made a big impression with his work ethic and determination. He is playing the Star position behind Garrett and Robenson Therezie. … Tuesday, the Tigers will wear full gear for the first time. Wednesday, they’ll go to Jordan-Hare Stadium for a scrimmage … Davis says Auburn cornerbacks have had their hands on a lot of passes during the camp … Safety Demetruce McNeal sat out Sunday’s practice due to a health issue. He has not yet practiced.
-- Phillip Marshall