Auburn QBs Off to a Good Start, Coach Says

Auburn's offensive coordinator and QB coach discusses how each of the quarterbacks practiced on day one of spring drills.

Auburn, Ala.--With one practice in the books and 14 more to go in spring training 2008 for the Auburn Tigers, the most closely watched competition for Coach Tommy Tuberville's team got off to a good start on Sunday.

That is the opinion of quarterback coach and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, who is looking to choose a starter from a quartet of QBs that includes sophomores Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle, juco transfer Chris Todd, a junior, along with true freshman DeRon Furr.

"I thought all of our quarterbacks had some good things today," Franklin says. "The only one I hadn't seen was Furr. I hadn't watched him throw in person before. I was really happy. He looks like he is talented."

Furr, who was leading Carver High of Columbus, Ga., to a state football championship in December, practiced with the Tigers for the first time after enrolling in classes in January as an early high school graduate. Furr's parents were there to check out the action at practice along with his younger brother, LeRon Furr, who was invited to watch the practice as part of Auburn's Junior Day.

DeRon Furr (No. 15) gets help from Kodi Burns (right) at the first spring practice for the 2008 Auburn football team.

Todd, who also arrived on campus in January, also practiced as a Tiger for the first time after spending the 2007 season at Hutchinson, Kan., Community College.

"Chris was very accurate, he was probably the most accurate," Franklin says. "I knew that with him coming here. That is what he is good at. He is good at throwing the ball. He has got a pretty good basic understanding of the offense. There will be some things that are a little bit different for him than what they were."

Chris Todd (left) and wide receiver Robert Dunn look to the sideline for a play call.

Burns, who scored the winning touchdown in Auburn's bowl victory over Clemson, earned praise from the offensive coordinator, too, as did Caudle, a redshirt sophomore. "I thought Kodi threw the ball better today," Franklin says. "I was pleased with him and I thought Neil threw the ball well, too, so it looks like it is going to be fun. Good competition, a good problem."

Neil Caudle throws a pass in the first practice of 2008 spring training.

The Tigers will return to the practice field again for a 7 a.m. workout on Tuesday. Franklin notes that practice one was productive, but adds the Tigers have plenty of work to do.

"The rhythm was good," he says. "I thought the little things, which is what we had to get better on, you can tell that those things are a long, long, long, long, long, way off, but the tempo was good. I thought there were some guys who made some plays. I thought everybody competed well."

The play of the day for Franklin was Mario Fannin making an impressive catch on a pass that wasn't on target. "The one that stands out was Mario catching the ball that was behind him and bursting up the field and looking special," he coach says. "Lester (tailback Brad Lester) looks special every time he touches the football."

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