McCain Moves to Offense At Friday Practice

The Tigers put on the full pads on Friday as they prepared for a major scrimmage scheduled for Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's second day of spring football practice in full pads featured a position change and a tuneup for the first scrimmage that is scheduled for Saturday morning at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Tigers are expected to run 100-125 plays on Saturday, head coach Tommy Tuberville said.

"We will try to get everybody around 30 to 35 plays," Tuberville said. "We need some indication of where we are at so we can have some teaching going on. If the weather is nice, we will go again Sunday. We are not going to miss a good weather day."

Tuberville noted the coaches will be closely watching the redshirt freshmen and the backup quarterbacks and said there will be blitzing and and several coverages run by the defense so it won't be a pure vanilla type of first scrimmage of the spring.

Andrew McCain, who injured a shoulder in Thursday's practice, was with the offensive linemen on Friday. He didn't take part in the contact part of practice, but should be ready for contact soon.

"I think it is a good move for him," Tuberville said. "If it wasn't tight end, we thought (left offensive tackle) might be the position for him. We needed him at defensive line in the fall so we moved him there, but for the long range for his best interest, and probably for the team's, is to move him to offensive tackle."

McCain, who is 6-6, 261 pounds, will need to gain a significant amount of weight to be able to play on the offensive line. "We are going to put him on the training table several times a day," the head coach said.

"It was a little bit more of his decision, too," Tuberville said. "We have got guys who are playing good on the defensive line. We probably don't have as much depth there as we do on the offensive line, but I think for the long run this will be better for everybody."

Noseguard Josh Thompson (97) does a one on one drill with center Joe Cope at Friday's practice.

In other news:

*Backup tight end Gabe McKenzie (hamstring) is still not ready to practice and won't scrimmage on Saturday.

*Offensive lineman Jason Bosley, who suffered what Tuberville said is a "slight concussion," is also sidelined.

*Offensive guard Tim Duckworth, who has done well in practice this week, may be held out of action on Saturday. He had his knee scoped in the offseason. He had several dominating blocks in Friday's practice that featured some 11 on 11 contact work.

*New linebackers coach James Willis says he has been pleased with the play of his group as a senior. He said that redshirt freshman Tray Blackmon is playing well and that Will Herring is off to a strong start after moving to strongside linebacker from safety. Blackmon is getting some reps with the first team along with Merrill Johnson, who is also playing well, Willis says. Karibi Dede continues to run first team and Kevin Sears is working at strongside linebacker, but has the size to play in the middle, Willis noted.

*Willis said the fact that most of Auburn's linebackers are smaller than most at that position in the SEC shouldn't be an issue. "I don't see that as a problem at all because you won't see them at the line of scrimmage unless we are blitzing." Willis said the key issue is to find linebackers who can really run.

Blake Field prepares to throw a pass in Friday's 11 on 11 work as King Dunlap blocks. Carl Stewart is No. 32.

*Fans wanting to enter the scrimmage should enter through the gate next to the Tiger Walk Plaza on the south side of the stadium next to Plainsman Park. Warmups are scheduled to start at around 10:15 a.m.

*About 400 high school coaches were on campus for day two of Auburn's annual high school coaching clinic.


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