Furr Behind Mentally and Physically

DeRon Furr has all of the physical tools to one day become an SEC quarterback, but offensive coordinator Tony Franklin says he needs to learn the playbook first.

Auburn, Ala.—Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin has cut the quarterback battle down to a two-player race between Kodi Burns and Chris Todd, and that means that studying the playbook off the field is more important than ever for freshman DeRon Furr.

No longer getting the same amount of reps in practice as before, Franklin says that Furr has an uphill battle in order to help the team in 2008. However, he's just a true freshman who enrolled early and still has four seasons to play five.

"He's a long, long, long, long, long way off physically and mentally," Franklin explains. "He's not grasping the offense right now. He's physically been hurt, but mentally he's not prepared himself good enough to compete. He's a long way off from having any abilities to help us. We'll see what happens to him over the summer. If he works hard and studies and learns then maybe he can compete again (in August)."

Furr was healthy for the first handful of practices before injuring his AC joint in his throwing arm in the first scrimmage.

"Before I got hurt I was learning faster and I was able to participate, but when it got hurt I just kind of fell back and fell out if it," Furr explains.

"I've just been rehabbing trying to get it better so I can get it back on the field," he adds. "It still hurts and bothers me a little, but I've still got to play through it."

Furr was impressive with his legs in the first scrimmage before being injured.

Furr has been icing, stretching and doing resistance twice a day as a part of his rehab to get the shoulder back to full strength, and he was able to participate in some of the drills in Tuesday morning's practice. However, it was all Burns and Todd when it came to taking snaps in team drills.

"The biggest thing about playing quarterback," Franklin says, "is that if you don't know it before you step on the field and you don't have mental pictures of where everything is going to be and where it's going to happen, then you've got no chance. None. And right now he doesn't have any idea. He's got to work harder and study harder.

"He's throwing some and he threw some today," the offensive coordinator continues. "He was available today and he could have gotten some reps, but right now he just doesn't need any. He just needs to learn, study, watch these guys and get better, and come in one day and go over all of our stuff and show me that he knows it and show that he's studied and worked hard enough off the field to get an opportunity to play. Right now he hasn't done that. He's a young kid and he's going to be a good player. He'll probably be a great player one day, but not tomorrow."

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