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Rookies take center stage in Auburn's first scrimmage

Aug. 6, 2014

Sean White got his chance in Wednesday's scrimmage

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Rookies and hopefuls had their day in Auburn's first scrimmage of the preseason Wednesday, a chance showcase while the veterans mostly watched from the sidelines at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  

Quarterbacks Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson, for example, stepped aside so freshman Sean White and walk-on Tucker Tuberville could direct the offense. Mostly young players were at their side. 

The first session of the first two-a-day workout of the fall "was about 70 plays," said coach Gus Malzahn, who said the Tigers ran the ball two out of every three plays. 

"We're just in the fall-camp installation, just getting all of our basis down," Malzahn said. "We really won't get specific for probably another week or so, as far as getting our plan together for the first game.

"I think," he added, "we got some really good information from our guys, especially the young guys." 

White got his chance on what amounted to rookie orientation on the fifth practice of the fall. 

"He throws the ball on time, and we knew that when we recruited him," Malzahn said. "He's really what we ask our quarterbacks to do. We've been pleased with him so far. He's been able to pick up things at a pretty good rate. And just looking out there watching from behind, there wasn't a whole lot of complete busts as far as communication, as far as execution." 

Same for freshman running backs Roc Thomas Kamryn Pettway and redshirt freshman Peyton Barber who had the show while Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne watched. 

"You give them the football in these first scrimmages and they get tackled, they get hit and you see how they respond," Malzahn said. "A lot of times, too, those guys get excited and they rush things a little bit, maybe get to the hole quicker. That's kind of the reason you want to do it early in fall camps. The young guys did get quite a few reps, they got the majority of the scrimmage. We have a lot of information about the two seniors. Those other three guys it was really good to see them carry the football and everything that goes with that." 

On defense, Malzahn said, "there were some pretty good licks out there. The young guys were really flying to the ball, and that's what stands out to me. The tackling wasn't great, but, the first scrimmage, that's always part of it. 


Auburn needs a punter now that Steven Clark has graduated. 

"We have four guys and we’re letting them all get an opportunity," Malzahn said. "Hopefully, we’ll figure that out sooner rather than later but we’re just trying to give people opportunities – and it’s not just there, it’s some other positions, too."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:
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