Auburn, Ala.--Early in preseason camp there is always a player that shows up and looks to be better than advertised. So far through two practices for the Auburn Tigers that guy appears to be fullback John Douglas. In the second practice for the young players Friday morning, Douglas was the standout as he made several nice catches out of the backfield and showed some quickness for a guy in the 220-pound range.
"Things are good," Douglas says. "They split the practice up so it has put a lot on us. We're doing all the reps while the quarterbacks switch reps. It's good. I'm trying to take in as much as I can. It's a lot but I'm trying to take it all in."
Fullback John Douglas catches a pass over the middle.
The only running back signee in this year's class on campus with Enrique Davis not making his grades, Douglas has worked at fullback exclusively with junior Brad Lester joining him in the mornings as the only two running backs on the field. That has made for a lot of work for the duo but Douglas says it's something that he feels like will help him in the long run.
"It's a lot different than high school," Douglas says. "It's jus the fast pace of everything. In high school you're sitting around for half of the practice watching other people do stuff. Here you're doing something all the time.
"It has helped me a lot," he adds of getting the extra reps. "It's just the little stuff in the plays and remembering the plays that is the hardest thing for me. Once I know what to do on a play I can do it but when they say a certain play it has to click in my head and that's all repetition."
After working a mix of younger and older guys in the first two practices on Thursday, Friday morning's practice was more of what the Auburn coaches wanted to see with very few veterans in the mix. That meant more work for the young players on both sides of the ball. Up front the offensive line was all freshmen working together with Lee Ziemba, Kyle Coulahan, Ryan Pugh, Chaz Ramsey and Jared Cooper composing the first line.
They got plenty of work with quarterbacks Neil Caudle and Kodi Burns as the two handled the signal-calling duties for the morning workout. Both had and up and down day throwing the football but that was mostly due to having just one scholarship receiver (Terrell Zachery) on the field. The rest of the receiving corps was comprised of walk-ons John Cubelic and Zack Shaw with Alex Rose and Quindarius Carr watching from the sidelines. Both are expected to join the afternoon workouts with Rose being bothered by an ankle sprain.
Linebacker Bo Harris is a physical player that looks like he'll find a home on defense.
Defensively the only non freshmen or redshirt freshmen were walk-ons as the unit got a crash course in Coach Will Muschamp's system in day two. The linebackers were the center of attention as Adam Herring, Josh Bynes and Bo Harris worked together and looked to have a good feeling for what little of the defense they've learned to this point.
The bulk of the team will hit the field this afternoon at 4:30 for the second Friday practice as the kicking game will also get its work in during the session.