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Auburn will honor Jakell Mitchell at Outback Bowl
Dec. 15, 2014

Will Muschamp watches his first Auburn practice Monday

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Auburn will remember teammate Jakell Mitchell by wearing a No. 31 decal on helmets at the Outback Bowl.

Gus Malzahn said the last few days have been "tough and challenging" since Mitchell died in a shooting off campus. The freshman didn't play this season, but could have made a move at the H-back and tight end positions in the spring.

"We lost a member of our family that was very close to our players, our coaches," Malzahn said after Monday's practice. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jakell's family in this time.

"It's a tough time."

Malzahn said his role is "try to be a strong leader for your team. You really want to be there for the family."


• Monday's practice, the first for the Outback Bowl and the first since playing Alabama, was devoted to taking a look at young players.

One interested observer was Will Muschamp, Auburn's recently hired defensive coordinator. Malzahn has said Muschamp won't run the defense in the bowl game, but instead will watch practice to get a feel for his players.

Malzahn said Muschamp didn't offer any opinions during practice, but "I'm sure he will."

• Malzahn said Auburn was a "little rusty" at practice, "but that's to be expected."

"We were a little rusty this time last year after the break before we played for the national championship. I really feel like the rust will be off when we come out there tomorrow. The older guys will have a better practice. The young guys were very excited. It was good for them. There was some real positive energy. It was good to see those guys do their thing."

• Graduate assistant Travis Williams is coaching linebackers. That's the position former defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson coached.

• Junior college transfer running back Jovon Robinson is on campus...and practiced.

"He just got here. We're just trying to get him slowly acclimated and everything that goes with it," Malzahn said.

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



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