A-Day: News, Notes and Quotes

News and notes from Auburn spring football game are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--With sophomore scholarship kicker Cody Parkey sidelined with a leg injury, senior walk-on Chandler Brooks handled all the placekicking and kickoff duties for A-Day.

Brooks responded by drilling first-half field goals from 43, 41 and 48 yards. He also kicked off well, putting the ball consistently around the 10-yard line with good hang time against the wind and reaching the end zone on his only kickoff with the wind at his back.

For his effort, Brooks was named the top special teams performer for A-Day. His only miscues were missed field goals from 44 and 47 yards in the second half against a strong wind. His lone extra point did hit the right upright but slipped over the crossbar after the ricochet.

Chandler Brooks drills one from 43 yards

As for Parkey, he had made a 49-yard field goal in the Saturday, April 9th scrimmage. Parkey is the heir-apparent to four-year starter Wes Byrum. Head Coach Gene Chizik quipped in his post-game comments that it had been a physical spring when a placekicker is sidelined.

Brooks said playing in front of the A-Day crowd means something special for him. "It was awesome. I have always wanted to play here, and I finally got to do it. It was amazing.

"I think I did decent," Brooks said. "I could have made those last two field goals so I could have done a little better. Overall, I think we did pretty good."

Brooks said he prepared to work hard for the 2011 season as he continues to challenge Parkey. "Right now I am just focused on field goals and kickoffs, and I may be the backup punter. I'm just working to get better every day."

In other news and notes:

*Another walk-on saw plenty of action on Saturday. Quarterback Logan Paul from Gulf Shores completed 7-13 passes for 66 yards working with the second and third team groups.

Logan Paul throws a pass on Saturday.

*Cornerback Ryan White, a quarterback in high school, was the holder for field goals during the A-Day Game.

*Several members of Auburn's 2010 National Championship team received awards during a ceremony at the A-Day game. Defensive tackle Zach Clayton and placekicker Wes Byrum shared the Ralph "Shug" Jordan Award as the outstanding seniors on the championship team.

Recognized as the leading tackler with the Mike Kolen Award was senior linebacker Josh Bynes, who also won the award as a junior.

The Pat Sullivan Award as Offensive Player of the Year was no surprise, going to Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton who left after his junior season for the NFL Draft. Accepting the award for the quarterback was his mother, Jackie Newton.

Receiving the Ken Rice Award as the Best Blocking Lineman was senior center Ryan Pugh. Sharing the Lineman of the Year honor were senior guards Byron Isom and Mike Berry.

Lombardi Award winner Nick Fairley was named the Zeke Smith Award winner as Defensive Player of the Year. Fairley was not present to accept the award.

*Lee Ziemba was recognized as winner the Jacobs Award as the Outstanding Blocker in the Southeastern Conference was senior offensive tackle Lee Ziemba. Newton and Fairley.

*No Auburn player was busier on Saturday than Blake Burgess, who opened the scrimmage as the first team center. On Saturday night he headed to Telfair Peet Theater to play the role of Claudius in Hamlet.

"I thought the day went well," Burgess said. "We have some things to improve, but that is always the case in spring football. The line played well. Pass protection was pretty good and we avoided making big mistakes."

*Quindarius Carr and Trovon Reed fielded punts in the scrimmage, but the plays were not "live" meaning the returners could only catch the ball and not return it.

*Onterio McCalebb and Neiko Thorpe returned kickoffs. Those plays were whistled dead prior to contact on the returners.

*Dee Ford was named the defensive MVP for A-Day and Philip Lutzenkirchen was named the top offensive player.


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