Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell's Friday Auburn Mailbag--Football Camp Edition

Questions about Auburn football and other sports are included in this edition of Jason Caldwell's mailbag column.

Jalen Harris (left), Kamryn Pettway (36) and Chandler Cox (27) are sophomores for the Auburn football team.

Jello1: Jason, tell us how you feel the team moral is right now? Does the game plan change with limited experienced RB's on the team right now?

I think the morale of the team is just fine. I have seen nothing that has been out of the ordinary. As for the plans I don’t see any difference at the moment with what this team will do on offense. Unless they find out the running game isn’t up to par I don’t expect things to look much different.


Hoochtiger: Jason, how do you see the distribution of carries with the running backs now that Jovon Robinson in no longer on the team?

My thoughts are that Kerryon Johnson gets 15-18 carries a game with Kamryn Pettway getting 6-10 as well. Throw in a few carries here or there for a guy like Kameron Martin, Stanton Truitt, Chandler Cox, etc. and you have around 35 or so without the quarterbacks. I could see something like that.


AUtigeritaville: Is our offensive line the caliber where we can plug anyone at TB and gain yards? In other words, can fans say, "with holes that big, my GRANDMOTHER could play running back at Auburn!"

If I have learned anything from a Gus Malzahn coached team it’s that they’re going to find a way to run the football. I think this offensive line is going to be good enough to run the ball well this season. If Kerryon stays healthy and Kamryn Pettway can deliver a punch then I like Auburn's chances to put up some good numbers.


SandhillsTiger: Do you have any information on the track and field program losing a couple of coaches? Any update on baseball signees.

A couple of the track coaches in specific areas didn’t have their contracts renewed. They are in the process of hiring two new coaches and it should be announced pretty soon. As for baseball, the class is done for the newcomers unless something changes. The only big loss was pitcher Alex Speas, the high school pitcher, who signed with the Texas Rangers. They should be in pretty good shape with the addition of juco hitter Joshua Anthony, a pair of juco infielders, and high school pitcher Davis Daniel.


Ware12: My question expands on Jello1.  Do you get any indication players are surprised, upset or divided because of CM's decision to dismiss Jovon?  It sounds like he was well liked and respected by teammates.    I'm not hunting for what Jovon did, but are you or Mark aware of what "broke the camels back" and if so, are you surprised CM took it as far as dismissal?

I don’t have any indication that the players were either surprised or upset about Jovon being gone. I didn’t see anything on Thursday that would have even let me know it happened. It was very much business as usual around the complex and the guys were just as jovial as usual. I’m not surprised that it came down to a dismissal just based on the fact that the coaches have been talking about other guys at running back basically since the spring. I don’t think they were sure Jovon was going to be a guy they could count on this season.


Autigerman: Do you see us picking up a JUCO RB this fall or just rolling with it?

Auburn has a juco running back committed in the 2017 class in Octavius Matthews. If you’re talking about this fall then it’s an easy no. The roster is set and they are moving forward with the guys they have got.


Wtbtiger: Do you think the coaches still have confidence that JJ can lead this team? If CW is the starting QB,do you think he physically ready to go through as tough a schedule as we have?

I believe the coaches feel like Jeremy Johnson can still be a very good quarterback because of what they see from him every day on the field and the work he's put in. I'm still not sure he's a guy you can start the season with based on what happened last season, but I don't think they would hesitate to throw him out there. As for Sean White, I think he’s physically ready to be the guy if called on to start.


Aliasau: Mark said in his practice report today that Darius James "looked very good today". What are his chances of breaking into the starting role this year at one of the tackle positions?

I mentioned Darius James in the notes after watching him some on Thursday. He looks good, but I don’t see him beating out either Austin Golson or Robert Leff at the moment. Both of those guys look good physically and seem to have kind of settled in at their spots.


Tiger82: How are the incoming receivers looking?

All three of the newcomers look very good physically. Nate Craig has the tools and frame to be an immediate impact guy. He’s got a high skill level. Marquis McClain looks the best of any of the newcomers as far as just the eye test. He is a very well put together football player and I predict some big things for him down the road as he continues to grow as a receiver. Elijah Stove has worked hard to get bigger and stronger and that should help him if he’s called upon this year.

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