Quarterback John Franklin (above) runs the offense in an 11 on 11 drill in Tuesday's practice.
Auburn, Ala.--Back on the practice field for their fourth of 15 spring practice sessions on Tuesday, Coach Gus Malzahn’s Auburn football team worked out for two hours in full pads.
The Tigers had some contact drills and game officials at the practice, but did not tackle ball carriers to the ground.
Quarterback Sean White (13) makes a read during a drill at Tuesday's practice.
One of the players the Tigers will be counting on to have a productive season is redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Dontavius Russell. He started 10 games last season and made 14 solo tackles with 28 assists and 4 1/2 tackles for lost yardage.
With Russell and seniors Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Maurice Swain returning to play defensive tackle, the Tigers have plenty of experience at that position. Others in the mix this spring include redshirt sophomore Andrew Williams, redshirt freshman Jauntavius Johnson and true freshman Antwuan Jackson.
Dontavius Russell (95) and Devaroe Lawrence (94) are shown at Tuesday's practice.
“I feel like we have a lot of potential, a lot of bodies to give us depth on the defensive line and that is always good,” Russell said.
“You have to come out and perform every day just to stay on top so good competition makes everybody better like the saying, ‘Iron sharpens iron.’ It is one of those situations.”
Asked what his position coach, Rodney Garner, is telling the linemen, Russell said, “He wants to see effort. He wants us to see us working on our craft and getting better as time goes on. He also wants to see us spend more time in the building (football complex) looking at film and things like that to make ourselves better. The best way to improve is to be critical of yourself while watching film.”
Russell had a reputation as a team-first guy at Carrollton, Ga., High, where he earned Under Armour All-America honors. That hasn’t changed as a collegian. “My only goal is to contribute to my team and help us win,” he said.
To help make that happen Russell has worked on getting stronger and bigger in the offseason. Up to six-foot-three, 305 pounds, he weighs 10 more pounds than he did last season. “I feel like I have got better and improved on my strength and conditioning,” he said.
The Tigers will return to the practice on Thursday before resuming on March 22nd following the university’s spring break.