Auburn, Ala.--With playing time available at the wide receiver spot, redshirt freshman Darius Slayton has been looking to show his coaches he is ready to help the Auburn football team sooner than later.
Slayton’s position coach, Kodi Burns, said he is seeing progress from the former U.S. Army All-American from Greater Atlanta Christian.
“Darius has been one of the bright spots this fall for me,” Burns said.
“I have been impressed so far with the way he can run, the way he can bust the top off,” Burns said. “He can break down and block, he can run slants, he can run outs, he can do a lot of things we ask him to do in this offense.
“I am excited about what he can do,” the coach added. “He brings it every single day, the willingness to learn, the willingness to compete is at a really high level. I think the guys feed off of that.”
Slayton, the state champion in the 200 meters in high school, caught 51 passes for 862 yards and 14 touchdowns his final season at Greater Atlanta Christian. Asked how the preseason has been going, he said, “It has been going pretty well. I?have been trying to get better day in and day out. I am trying to become more consistent.
“Coming out of high school I redshirted last year and I got a chance to see other guys play and get a feel for the game,” he pointed out. “I am just trying to develop my own game now.”
Darius Slayton is a 6-2, 191-pound redshirt freshman.
Coach Gus Malzahn’s teams have a history of big plays in the passing game, but last year’s team struggled with that. “We are going to try to change that perspective,” Slayton said. “We are going to try to make plays down the field, which is something we didn’t do too well last year.”
Slayton is a player the coaches said improved in the spring, but needed to become more consistent. Asked if he feels like he has improved, he said, “I feel like I?have taken a good step forward. I have gotten a little bigger, a little stronger.”
Fellow receiver Stanton Truitt said he has noticed a difference. “I think he is just getting more comfortable with what he is being asked to do at the wide receiver position now. He had a really great summer. I think the key was this receiver group really gelled this summer and that helped out a guys with their confidence that they can contribute on this team.”