Wednesday Evening Football Practice Notes

Notes from the eighth day of Auburn's preseason practices are featured.

*The first offensive line at the practice featured Jason Bosley at center with Mike Berry at right guard and true freshman Lee Ziemba on his right at tackle. At left tackle, King Dunlap was flanked by Byron Isom at left guard.

*Second team center Ryan Pugh, who missed Tuesday's practice with an ankle sprain, was back in action on Wednesday.

*On the kickoff drill, Ross Gornall got two chances. His first was four yards deep into the end zone and his second hit at the 13. Patrick Tatum kicked off three yards deep on his first try and to the 10 on his second. Wesley Byrum hit his first one three yards deep, his second to the goal line and was the only kicker to get a third chance. His final kick was seven yards deep. All of the kickoffs came from the 30-yard line. The kickers were having to deal with a slight headwind.

*Bryant Miller, who had been slowed earlier in the week with a leg cramp, looked back to full speed today and got credited for a sack in the 11 on 11 work.

*Bo Harris, who had been sidelined with a mild concussion, returned to practice on Wednesday and picked up a fumbled exchange in an 11 on 11 drill on a scoop and score style play.

*Zach Etheridge and Aairon Savage worked as the starting safeties on Wednesday with Jonathan Wilhite and Jerraud Powers running with the ones at cornerback.

*Merrill Johnson, Tray Blackmon and Craig Stevens ran first team at the three linebacker spots.

*The first team defensive front featured Josh Thompson, Sen'Derrick Marks, Quentin Groves and Pat Sims.

Sen'Derrick Marks (left), Josh Thompson (97) and Tray Blackmon (10) each have starting experience on the Auburn defense. The trio endured the hottest day of the year in Auburn with the heat index rising above 100 degrees.

*Overall, it looked to be the least intense practice of preseason. When practice began, the temperature read 100 degrees on the field. The Tigers looked sluggish in the heat and didn't get any sharper even though clouds and a breeze made the last half of practice easier to take.

*Wes Byrum had the best day of the kickoff men. He had the longest kickoff, which went seven yards deep into the end zone.

*Punter Ryan Shoemaker suffered a groin pull and is expected to be out a week, Tommy Tuberville says. That moves Wes Byrum squarely into the competition for the starting job as a punter. He didn't punt in high school, but won a punting competition and has the potential to average better than 40 yards based on his performance in practice.

*Scouts for several NFL teams were at practice including the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.

*Hugh Nall kept the entire offensive line for nearly 30 minutes of extra practice after Tuberville called an end to the session. The Tigers will practice twice on Thursday with the first session at 8:15 a.m. and the second at 7 p.m.


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