Backup QB Working Late to Improve

Redshirt freshman Steven Ensminger is competing for playing time at quarterback.

Auburn, Ala.--When the Auburn Tigers hit the football field on Saturday for their second major scrimmage of spring training, Steven Ensminger will be looking to display the improvements he has made in the past week.

The quarterback has seen his playing time with the second unit increase this week as he has been less mistake-prone that fellow redshirt freshman Neil Caudle while the other backup, Blake Field, has been limited by tendonitis in his shoulder.

"I have had my ups and downs this spring, but I think it is going pretty good," Ensminger says. "It is better than last fall. I think I am understanding the offense more. I am studying it a lot more and that helps. I plan to keep on studying and keep on learning. You can never learn enough. I think we are all making strides."

Ensminger can be found at the football complex late every night after finishing practice and study hall watching video of what took place on the practice field earlier in the day.

"Watching what happened at practice really helps," the quarterback says. "It helps you see what you are doing wrong so the next day you can go out to practice and correct those problems.

"I don't just watch myself," Ensminger adds. "I watch Brandon (Cox), I watch Blake and I watch Neil, too. I see everything and I make the reads. It really helps."

Ensminger notes that even though they are competing for playing time, the four Auburn quarterbacks are supportive of each other. "We are all splitting reps," he says. "We don't get as many reps as Brandon and we shouldn't because he is the starter. We all look up to him and watch him. He doesn't do a lot of things wrong.

"Brandon helps us in the meeting room and we help each other out on the field going through the reads together and watching the plays," Ensminger says. "We are just competing and trying to have a lot of fun."

Steven Ensminger looks for a receiver as defensive coordinator Will Muschamp studies the action at Thursday's practice.

Ensminger has done a good job of avoiding bad plays in spring practices and has shown a strong arm throwing the football. The Tigers passed the halfway point of sporing practice with the eighth of 15 workouts on Thursday. On Saturday at 10 a.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium they will scrimmage and a week later at 1 p.m. spring drills end with the annual A-Day Game.

During his redshirt year, Ensminger notes he has been working on getting stronger in the weight room and he says he can tell a difference. He is up to 6-3, 220 pounds, but doesn't want to get any bigger for now.

"I think they want to get my weight down just a little bit," he says. "I don't mind that. I think they want me to be mobile. They don't want me to get too light because I would be more likely to get hurt. I think 215 is where the coaches would like me to be."


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