Thursday AU Football Practice Notes

News and notes from Auburn University football practice is featured.

*The field goal kickers were on their game at the end of the practice today. Wes Byrum was 5-5 from distances of 25, 30, 35, 40 and 42 yards as was Zach Kutch. Coach Tommy Tuberville put the pressure on the kickers for the kicks from the 42. Kutch and Byrum had to hit two of three or the entire team had to run wind sprints, not an appealing idea in the oppressive heat. Kutch calmly nailed his kick and Byrum did the same thing.

Holder Matthew Motley spots the football for kicker Wes Byrum at Thursday's practice.

More on the kickers: While Kutch has the higher trajectory at the moment, Byrum is able to kick with ease from outside 40 yards and should be a guy with some serious range before his career is done. Walk-on Graham Sutter has also been very good on his short range kicks inside 40 yards and has made a name for himself during the preseason. *On the subject of the kickers, all 10 of their field goal attempts were right down the middle or close to it.

*Senior Leon Hart and junior Tyronne Green were running with the first team offensive line at the guard spots today. True freshman Lee Ziemba held his right tackle spot for a second day and had some good blocks.

*Redshirt freshman Neil Caudle hit freshman Quindarius Carr on a beautifully thrown deep sideline pass.

*Defensive lineman Bryant Miller injured his ankle in the 11 on 11 work, but after practice Tuberville said he didn't believe it was serious and expected to see the redshirt freshman at the 7 p.m. practice.

The linebackers have been a source of concern during the preseason with the loss of Steve Gandy and Patrick Trahan, but some old and new faces are getting a long look by Coach James Willis during two-a-days. Moving from tight end to defensive end this preseason, freshman Brent Slusher got some work at middle linebacker on Thursday morning as Willis looks for someone to be physical at the position behind Tray Blackmon.

Being physical is something the coaches don't have to worry about out of Bo Harris as he continues to punish ball carriers, blockers and himself in practice sessions. While freshman Adam Herring is coming on and showing some life, fellow freshman Josh Bynes is struggling with the physical side of the game at the moment.

*The receiving corps has performed well so far during two-a-days and several guys have made plays when their number has been called. Tim Hawthorne has been more consistent catching the ball and is in for some early playing time this season because of his ability to be physical not only in the passing game but also run blocking.

Fellow redshirt freshman Terrell Zachery is similar in that he's a physical guy who works well out of the slot position. The one player who continues to be up and down is senior Prechae Rodriguez. He has made some great catches but still has a problem with dropping the easy one from time to time.


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