Rowell Checks Out As Tigers Check Back In

After a three-day layoff, the Tigers returned to the football practice field on Wednesday. A report on the happenings from a busy practice is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Lemarcus Rowell, who was suspended from the Auburn football team for the 2003 season, was a no-show at Wednesday's practice and has quit the team.

Rowell, a junior middle linebacker, missed the 11th of 15 spring workouts for the Auburn Tigers.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said that Rowell is gone from the team for good this time. The decision to leave is Rowell's, the head coach added. Last summer Rowell was suspended from the team and transferred to Itawamba, Miss., Community College, where he played for the 2003 season. He re-enrolled at AU for the spring semester.

"Lemarcus has decided to go elsewhere," Tuberville said. "It is one of those deals where you come back and he was behind, down the depth chart. He lost a lot of weight."

Rowell, who is 6-3, 218, is about a dozen pounds lighter than he was last spring. He was third team on the depth chart at middle linebacker behind Mayo Sowell and Quentin Groves and was being challenged by Kevis Burnam, who was just cleared to practice last week.

Rowell was removed from the team on July 7th, 2003 after being arrested and later convicted following a 2:45 a.m. incident on Pepperell Parkway in Opelika when he was pulled over by Opelika police for speeding. He was charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and carrying a pistol without a permit.

He earned all-league honors as the leading tackler on his team at Itawamba this past season. Rowell originally signed with Auburn as a star performer at Opelika High in 2001.

The Tigers will practice one more time before Saturday's A-Day game. There will be a 1/2 scrimmage at the stadium and the Tigers will practice twice after A-Day, Tuberville said, with workouts tentatively set for Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

"We will practice about 40 minutes and then we will scrimmage about 80 plays--full speed, we will get after it," he said of Thursday's schedule. "Then we will take Friday off and have A-Day.

"The fans will get an opportunity to see part of our new offense--what we are doing it and how we are doing it," Tuberville said of the A-Day Game, which will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

In other news from Wednesday's practice:

*One of the state's top football prospects attended the workout--tight end Tommy Trott from Trinity in Montgomery. His father, Marvin Trott, a former AU offensive lineman, also attended the practice.

*Matt Clark, a walk-on from South Gwinnett High School in Georgia, got to kick with John Vaughn and Philip Yost to end Wednesday's practice. As a group they hit 11-12 field goals prompting special teams coach Eddie Gran to shout with joy. "We decided to give him some shots and he looked pretty good," Tuberville said of Clark. "He has been out here a while." After complaining about the field goal kicking in last Saturday's scrimmage and saying they might advertise for replacement kickers, Tuberville says he and Eddie Gran's phone has been ringing this week with want-to-be kickers calling the coaches. "We had them from all over the country, not just here on campus," Tuberville said of the calls. "They didn't realize you had to be in school here."

*The Tigers added more plays to Al Borges' offensive package on Wednesday and worked on calling plays with hand signals.

*Members of the state legislature were the guests of the university at the football practice. Interim AU president, Dr. Ed Richardson, attended the practice and spent the session talking with the politicians.

*Tuberville says he saw signs of improvement on defense after a three-day layoff since the Saturday scrimmage in which the offense held the upper hand. "Overall, it was a good practice," Tuberville said. "It was a lot better defensively."

*Stanley McClover, who moved up to first team on the defensive end depth chart ahead of Marquies Gunn, had a strong day in one-on-one drills and the team portion of the workout in the Wednesday practice in full pads that lasted more than two hours.

Carnell Williams (24) runs in Wednesday's practice with Stanley McClover (75) giving chase.

*Carnell Williams had a strong day running the football in the team drills. The senior showed excellent bursts of speed running through quick-opening holes created by the number one offensive line in the "thud" part of practice that featured contact but no tackling.

*Travis Williams continues to excel at weakside linebacker. "He is turning into a real competitor out on the field," Tuberville says of the junior.

*Wide receiver Devin Aromashodu had perhaps his best day of the spring. He was dominating in one-on-one drills vs. the defensive backs and made several impressive catches.

*Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff had another strong performance in the one-on-one work vs. the offensive line.

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