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Football Notebook, Day 11: McNeal returns to practice

Aug 13, 2013

Justin Garrett's foot injury is not expected to be a long-term problem (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Phillip Marshall

AUBURN, Ala. – The news was mostly good for Auburn’s defense Monday.

Senior safety Demetruce McNeal, sidelined when an infection required minor surgery, practiced for the first time in preseason camp. The rules require that he practice two days in shorts and two days in shells before putting on full gear.

Junior star>Justin Garrett, who suffered a foot injury in last Saturday’s scrimmage, is doing better, according to head coach Gus Malzahn.

“He’s much-improved,” Malzahn said. “I don’t think it’s anything that will be lengthy. It’s day to day right now, but it’s nothing to get worked up about.”

On offense, freshman wide receiver Tony Stevens, who missed last Saturday’s scrimmage, was back at practice Monday.

Scrimmage set for this morning

Auburn will have its third scrimmage of the spring this morning at 10. It will be closed to the public. Malzahn said freshman Jeremy Jones and junior college transfer Nick Marshall, the leading candidates to start at quarterback, will be a focal point.

“The quarterbacks will not be live,” Malzahn said, “but we will put them in situations where we can evaluate them.”

To redshirt or not to redshirt

Malzahn said he didn’t know what Johnson’s role will be should he fail to win the starting job. He could be the backup or he could be redshirted.

“We haven’t gotten that far yet,” Malzahn said. “If he’s not the starter, we’ll come up with a plan. Obviously, you always want to take care of your players and, if they do play, to play them.”

Frazier has tools to play safety

At 6-foot- and 224 pounds, Kiehl Frazier has the size and athleticism to play safety. He moved there from quarterback on Monday.

“I did in high school,” Frazier said. “Some schools even wanted me to play safety in college. There is going to be a big transition period, but it’s something I think I can do really well at.”

Malzahn pleased with Monday practice

The Tigers went through a 22-period practice Monday afternoon, and Malzahn said he saw signs of improvement.

“I really felt like it was a solid practice,” Malzahn said. “I challenged our team before our practice. I was real proud of the way the guys responded, and I felt like our guys got better today.”


Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter:




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