AU Makes Offensive Line Moves Following Scrimmage

There were several position changes up front on offense for the Auburn Tigers in Sunday's football practice.

Auburn, Ala.–Following the first preseason scrimmage of the football season it's not surprising to see some position changes made and that was the case with the Auburn Tigers when they returned to the practice fields on Sunday.

With center Jeremy Ingle bothered by a strained hamstring in his leg it gave Coach Hugh Nall the perfect opportunity to move senior Danny Lindsey back to center to get some snaps. Saying he is pleased with both Ingle and Steven Ross' performance in preseason practice so far, Nall noted that the plan is to get Lindsey some snaps at center just to keep him fresh in case he's needed there during the season.

"I told Danny that we were going to work him at first team center for a few days," Nall said. "He's the starting right guard. It was good we did that because there were a lot of little things he missed on calls and stuff. He needed to be back in there. I'll try to get him snaps each week to keep him fresh.:

The move meant that redshirt freshman Jarrod Britt lined up at first team right guard on Sunday and Nall said that Britt has really taken a step forward this fall. Britt was backed up by sophomore Tim Duckworth after Duckworth moved inside to guard from tackle. Nall said the move is designed to give Duckworth a little confidence and help as he learns to play offensive line on the collegiate level.

"I think it's really tough to play offensive tackle," Nall said. "If he had been here all spring and been through the spring I think he could handle it. He'll be a real good tackle. I've had to do this with a lot of young kids before that don't have the fundamentals. It's a lot easier to play the guard position with pass protection because you have a smaller area to cover."

Leon Hart moved to second team left tackle on Sunday.

The final two moves involve the tackle position. Redshirt freshman King Dunlap moved to right tackle from left tackle on Sunday, leaving true freshman Leon Hart as Marcus McNeill's back up on the left side. Nall said both have impressed him already this fall and the move just strengthens the offensive line heading into the season.

"He's proven to me the last few weeks that he can play left tackle," Nall said of Dunlap. "I feel like he has a chance to be a very good left tackle, but today he seemed more natural at right tackle. I feel like putting him there gives me more experience with a guy that has played the tackle position. He's had some right tackle experience.

"Leon Hart is really special," Nall said. "I think he will (play). I don't think we're going to be in a position not to play him. I don't want to get to November and have to play him and he hasn't been playing all along. The kid is pretty good and I saw him get better out there today. There are just little things I see daily. If we get him some reps he'll be pretty good as the year goes on."

While the offense had some new faces at different positions the defense welcomed back one of its best as cornerback Carlos Rogers returned to the practice field for drills for the first time in more than a week. One of the leaders of the secondary, Rogers has been bothered by a sprained knee, but appeared to be moving well and worked with the first team defense. That was something that made Coach Tommy Tuberville happy on Sunday.

"It was good to see him back," Tuberville said. "He probably could have been back for the scrimmage, but there was no reason to let him go. We're going to let him scrimmage a little bit Friday."

Working in full pads for just under two hours, the team spent much of the session working in 11-on-11 drills. Offensively, the Tigers put in several new looks and formations and continue to spend their time in the practices polishing the playbook for the coming season.

Defensively, the front four caught the ire of coaches Terry Price and Don Dunn early in the practice and never got out of the hole. While the unit as a whole didn't have a good day, several young players stood out as possible playmakers down the road. One of those is end Neil Brown, who worked hard in the pass rush department and is relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier.

At the linebacker position Travis Williams worked almost exclusively with the first team along with Antarrious Williams and Kevin Sears. Senior Mayo Sowell worked mostly with the second team along with Kevis Burnam. Coming back from two knee surgeries, Burnam is starting to play better and could challenge Sowell for a job sooner than expected.

In the kicking game both John Vaughn and Philip Yost had solid days, but again it was Vaughn that came away the winner on this day. A sophomore, Vaughn was 6-6 from yardages of 20, 30, 33, and two from 43 yards. Yost was perfect from inside 40 yards, but missed one of two from 43 yards.

The Tigers currently have several players battling minor injuries, but Tuberville said he expects everyone to return to practice this week. Among those is cornerback Tristan Davis, who has been bothered by a virus. Offensive lineman William Sullivan went down early in the scrimmage with an injured knee, but Tuberville said that Sullivan should be fine by next week.

Auburn will have two practices on Monday, the first of which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. The second practice is set for 4:30 p.m. and both will be on the intramural fields.

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