PAUL JAMES SACKS MALIK WILLIS (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Jason Caldwell's Friday Mailbag Column Features Auburn Football

Talking Auburn football, football and more football in this edition of the Friday Mailbag.

BSCAUTigerforLife99: Do you think we pull in any more grad transfers; maybe a pass rusher looking to transfer his last year? Do you think Kyle Davis will be used on the outside WR or more in a slot role when he returns under Chip? Is Chip a guy that allows outside QB training in the offseason if a player wants it for trying to find an edge or additional offseason training?

I don’t think Auburn is actively pursuing a pass rusher with the number of guys they have at the position. I think Breiden Fehoko is a guy they are waiting on. I think something interesting would be if there were a graduate transfer punter available.

I don’t know where Kyle Davis would fit with the offense because the Tigers will have to see how he fits best in terms of skill set and comfort. My guess would be outside with more inside-type guys in the group right now. As for Lindsey letting guys get outside coaching, Malik Willis spent his entire spring break working with his coach in Atlanta. Here is a quote from Lindsey about that very subject from earlier in the spring. “Well, I think, you know, those guys want to go work when they’re away from here and really they’re just working on fundamentals and trying to improve and get better. That’s something that, as time has gone on, that relationship has changed over time. I’ll just be honest. You know the year I spent out at Arizona State, every one of those guys were working with somebody it seemed like on the West Coast. I don’t have a problem with it and most of the guys they work with, or the few that they do, I know them anyway and I communicate with them. I don’t have a problem with them trying to go and get better.”

 

m5guy: Your thoughts on Al Borges returning as an analyst & will he & Lindsey compliment each other? This move by Coach Malzhan along with the other changes makes me believe he really wants to take things up a notch.

I don’t have any doubts that Borges will work well with Lindsey and the rest of the offensive staff because he is first and foremost a team player. He has always been a great guy to deal with and work with, which makes him a perfect guy to be an analyst because of his experience. As for the Malzahn taking things up a notch, has told me and Mark since last season he was serious about turning things over and I think people are seeing how serious he is.

 

AUBnMD: How about some names of freshmen footballers whom you expect will not redshirt, but have not yet enrolled in Auburn?

Right now I would say Markaviest Bryant and Tadarian Moultry are highly likely to play on defense and I think cornerback Tray Leonard has a great shot to play as well. I am sure we will see anyone else on defense whois not already on campus. Offensively Calvin Ashley is a good possibility to play at offensive tackle along with maybe Noah Igbinoghene at receiver and Devan Barrett at running back.

 

AUkarm: Is the jet sweep a thing of the past. Will we really play hurry up or will we continue to rush to the los and stand there draining clock. Who is our 3rd qb. I say Willis.

I think there will be a whole lot of offense that people didn’t see in the A-Day game and some variation of a jet sweep will probably be part of that. As for the hurry up, I think Lindsey wants those guys to get up there and get the play going quickly. Now on third downs or third and long situations I could see them slowing the pace to get the right play, but I believe we will see an up-tempo pace much of the time. As of right now I believe that Willis is likely going to be the third guy and if he weren’t a true freshman I think he could make a run at No. 2. There is no need to push him out there and waste a redshirt unless there is an injury.

 

Rick4AU: Let's say Stidham ends up getting the job like most of us think he will and White returns healthy as a viable backup, will CGM actually redshirt Willis?

I would hope that would be the case, unless like I mentioned before and you have an injury. Willis looked exciting as a passer and runner and did plenty of good things this spring, but people need to remember that was against a defense he sees every day doing base things. In a college game situation he will probably have a lot of learning to do. There is question he has got talent and is showing a strong work ethic.

 

TigerNAggieLand: What are our chances of signing Garrison Brooks? Breiden Fehoko?

Right now I would say there’s a small chance for Brooks. Auburn has a juco forward in this weekend along with a transfer guard. If they were to get both of them I wouldn’t be surprised to see Auburn hold a spot for the 2018 class. As for Fehoko, I think LSU may be tough to beat but he really liked Auburn when he made the trip.

 

howells: Over under games started by Wanagho, James, and Dunn?

If we’re talking total or individually that’s a big difference. I would say Darius James is a good bet to start somewhere this season whether that’s at left tackle or right tackle. As for Prince Tega, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him work his way into the lineup at some point because he’s just so talented. As for graduate transfer Casey Dunn, it’s hard for me to see him beating out Austin Golson right now.

 

Eagle70: Who was your MVP of the Spring?

I’ll give one on offense and defense. On offense it’s an easy choice for me. Coming in with plenty of hype and pressure, Jarrett Stidham answered the bell time and time again. He as got all the tools to be a good one for the Tigers. On defense I would go with Marlon Davidson. Watching the difference in him this spring (and he was really good last fall) shows you the difference in an offseason for a freshman.

 

WOLFIE2002: What exactly do analysts do? Coach on the field? Help with game plans? Interested in what exactly Borges will do for Gus?

Analysts break down film on opponents and also do self-scouting. The will look for tendencies, weaknesses, etc. so the coaches can focus on teaching the gameplan and working with the guys. Borges will have the chance to help break down the opposition in advance so the coaches can hit the ground running on Mondays following games. That allows them to have everything ready for the first real practice of each week on Tuesday.

 

wareagledoc: What is your predicted two-deep on the DL? What about for the WR's?

Right now I would go with Marlon Davidson/Nick Coe at one end and Jeff Holland/Paul James on the other side. In the middle I think it’s Derrick Brown/Andrew Williams at one tackle with Dontavius Russell/Byron Cowart at the other spot. As for the wide receivers Will Hastings, Darius Slayton and probably either Nate Craig or Eli Stove would be the first group with Ryan Davis the fourth guy. They’ll rotate Jason Smith, John Franklin, Sal Cannella, Kyle Davis when he returns and probably Marquis McClain.

 

Dewsweeper: In the spring game, we ran WR screens to Franklin with little success.  Isn't he a bigger threat on the fly, post, or jet sweep?  Realistically, how much playing time will Franklin get?  Any updates on Kyle Davis?

What you saw on Saturday was just a small portion of the offense. They probably only had a few different routes for each spot they were going to use in the game. He will have a chance to stretch the field but it’s all a matter of making plays and showing he belongs on the field over someone else. There is nothing new on Davis, who Gus Malzahn said he is expecting back for preseason practice.

 

AUTigersBSME90: How many reps of 225 do you think Braden can do? I know he did 3 reps of 515 as a high school senior. I believe the record for the combine is 52. I'm betting Braden will do 45 or more.

That’s a good question. His arms are so long that makes it tough when you do so many reps. I would probably put him in the upper 30’s or low 40’s. It is tough for 6-6 guys to life that many reps.

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