Photo by Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell Answers Questions About Auburn Sports In His Mailbag Column

In the latest edition of Jason Caldwell's column, he answers questions about Auburn football, basketball and softball.

Byron Cowart (above) is a sophomore defensive end for the Tigers.

AUPharmD: A basketball question just before A-day! I'm sure you answered this before but is Devin Waddell coming back? I've heard several different things. Thanks

At the moment I think he’s expected to be back with the team, although it’s likely as a walk-on once again provided the Tigers can fill out the 13 scholarship spots.

 

Aubblue: How is Prince Tega doing? I haven't heard his name mentioned much, if at all. I talked with Alex Kozan and he said that he was extremely strong. Given his physical dimensions, combined with his strength, it seems he would be able to make some noise.

Tega is doing really well physically and right now it’s just a matter of him learning the game. He’s only had one year of high school football against very weak competition and last season he only practiced a handful of times after having a second surgery on his foot. That’s a lot of learning to do about the basics, but I think in time he’ll be a guy the Tigers can count on. I just don’t think that’s going to be this year just yet.

 

FlaTiger: Any chance Jeremy Johnson gives basketball a try before he leaves Auburn?  Since he was the player of the year in both sports it would seem to me he would want to give BB a try if FB doesn't get better.

I would be surprised if Jeremy tries to play basketball. I think he is a guy who will put everything he’s got into trying to make an NFL roster and that means workouts, training, etc. after next season.

 

Dtd122268: Is Cowart practicing with 3s most days at practice or is he rotating around? I have heard that he has improved so i wonder why he is with the 3s. Is he in the dog house? Are the coaches just experimenting or are Marlon Davidson and Paul James just that good?

Just like most of the defensive linemen he’s been moving between several different groups. On any given day we’ve seen Montravius Adams with the first and second groups. Same with Dontavius Russell, Devaroe Lawrence, etc. Cowart has been rotating with Paul James with the second group and has gotten reps with the ones as well. He’s had a good spring.

 

Dtd122268: With so many question marks at WR, do you see a real chance that we start two of the 4 true freshmen coming in? If so, who do you think has the best chance?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Kyle Davis or Nate Craig worked their way into a starting role at some point next year, but I don’t expect that to be early. I do think that both of those guys will see the field early in their careers, however. It is tough to throw them out there in a key

role right out of the gate against Clemson.

Photo by Jason Caldwell
 Kyle Davis, an early high school graduate, is shown at a spring practice. He will not be allowed to have contact until August as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Au3020: Once A-Day and spring practice are over how will the players schedules look?  Will it be take a week  away then get back to the weight room?  How soon will they start the involuntary workouts?

They will continue strength and conditioning workouts until around finals time when they will take a break. They usually get just over a week after finals before starting back workouts on campus. After that they start the voluntary workouts when the summer session starts while continuing to do strength and conditioning workouts.

 

Coreyc: Who is going to wow us at A-day on Saturday, either with their physical transformation or with their performances?

That’s a good question. I think Kamryn Pettway is going to be a fun guy to watch running the football. He has got skills in that department. Another player fans may enjoy seeing is linebacker Darrell Williams. I think fans will get a taste of his athleticism and ability to run. The same is true of Montavious Atkinson. Rounding out my list of guys is Ryan Davis. I think he’s a threat to make a big play or two at wide receiver.

 

Aubtime: When do you think H Fagan will start hit as DP and 2ndly start playing SS. We miss that bat of hers as well as the defense.

There are no plans to rush her back right now until she has made more progress from her fall knee surgery. I know she’s itching to get back, but so far we haven’t seen any signs of that happening. Coach Clint Myers said that she will be back for another checkup in April with Dr. James Andrews to see if she will be cleared to play.

 

JV2007: Can you tell improvement in our receivers total performance this spring?

We really haven’t had enough of an opportunity to watch those guys to be able to see things clearly. I believe Kodi Burns is going to do a great job with that group, but there’s not much experience to work with there right now. They are going to be learning on the run next year other than Marcus Davis. Even Tony Stevens and Jason Smith don’t have a ton of work under their belts so it’s just a work in progress.

 

Carnellisanescalade: In your opinion, which new coach will turn out to be the most significant hire and why?

I like all the guys, but I really believe Travis Williams is going to be a very good coach and recruiter for Auburn. I just like the way recruits are responding to him and I know he knows football and how to play and coach linebacker. When Pat Dye agrees with me I think that’s enough of a sign for me to know Williams is going to be a good one.

 

Nhill76: Do you think there is a chance the staff takes a look at a grad transfer OL after spring practices around the country are wrapped up over the next month?

You would never turn down an opportunity to help your football team so if a guy decides to leave somewhere after the spring I’m sure Auburn would take a look. Most of those guys announce those plans in the winter, however.


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