Freshmen Continue Their Football Education

Several freshmen had good performances at the Tuesday morning football practice.

Auburn, Ala.--The morning freshman practice on day two of the fall looked a great deal like the first day as the coaches stressed fundamentals on a hot, humid morning on the Plains. Continuing to install a small portion of the offense and defense to get the newcomers ready for Thursday's first full-squad practices, the coaching staff kept the pace lively in the short hour and a half workout.

Offensively, the players seemed to settle in a little better on day two as the quarterbacks and receivers had better days, but still weren't sharp under the prying eyes of head coach Tommy Tuberville. One player that did have a good day and has been sharp the first three practices is Courtney Taylor. The former high school quarterback from Carrollton said following the workout that he is settling in nicely at wide receiver.

Courtney Taylor comes off the line during a drill Tuesday morning.

"It hasn't been that tough because I came in this summer and worked really hard to learn all the small techniques," Taylor says. "When I came out here I just started applying them. So, it really hasn't been that tough.

"So far I think I'm doing pretty good. I'm running my routes better. Coach (Greg) Knox said all the receivers are doing better so all of us are getting a lot out of this. This heat is helping us too."

While the heat is helping the team get ready for the rigorous portion of two-a-days that begin Thursday, individually it isn't helping a couple of players as defensive lineman Doug Morris and walk-on offensive lineman Juan Garnier continue to struggle with the heat. Both missed a good bit of their third straight practice and are falling behind their teammates who have been able to keep up with the drills the entire time.

Tyrone Martin is currently playing the weak side linebacker position.

One player who made his entrance into practice on Tuesday was linebacker Tyrone Martin. The All-State player from Benjamin Russell High in Alexander City was finally cleared after completing the last portion of his physical. After spending the summer rehabbing a shoulder he injured in practice for the Alabama-Mississippi All Star game, Martin looked to be his old self as he was flying around the field and seemingly always in the right spot.

Up front the tandem of Marcus McNeill and Troy Reddick continue to be impressive at the tackle spots, particularly when the offense and defense get together for one-on-one drills and inside running drills. Also looking good is guard Jonathan Palmer. The former high school teammate of McNeil is playing the strong side at the moment and has shown good footwork and an aggressive mentality.

Defensively, Antwarn Franklin and Tommy Jackson picked up where they left off after a strong first day. Working most of the day on pass rushing, the duo was able to get to the quarterback in one-on-one drills by showing a variety of moves and good quickness. Also Kyle Derozan remains the most impressive of the defensive ends with his speed off the ball and his solid technique.

The freshmen will hit the field one more time before taking Wednesday off to get acquainted with the upperclassmen and spend most of the day in meetings. Tuesday second practice is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. and is open to the public.


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