Friday Auburn Football Practice Notes

Auburn, Ala.--News, notes and quotes on the Auburn football Tigers are featured on the final day of two-a-days for Coach Tommy Tuberville's Tigers.

*The Tigers tuned up for their second major preseason scrimmage with a full pads session that included limited 11 on 11 work in "thud" mode, meaning there was contact allowed but no tackling. The team is planning to practice again on Friday evening at the football complex.

*Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin kept the receivers after practice for extra drills that featured working on difficult to catch passes that have been overthrown or underthrown.

*The secondary and the linebackers spent time on formation recognition to make sure players are lined up in the right place at the right time.

*Running back Ben Tate, who took a blow on the shoulder on a swing pass earlier in the week in an 11 on 11 drills, was held out of contact work on Friday, but is expected back in the contact drills soon.

*Two of the Tigers who the coaches will be watching carefully in Saturday's scrimmage are true freshmen cornerbacks Neiko Thorpe and D'Antoine Hood. Both players have excellent chances to move into the two-deep rotation.

Thorpe says he feels like he has made progress since last Saturday's scrimmage and will be concentrating on improving his technique this Saturday in the scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium. "The important thing is for me to work on the little things," he notes. "I have been spending a lot of time in the film room to do that."

Thorpe has won praise from defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads for playing tough football as a freshman. Rhoads used the expression "he will bite a hot biscuit" in describing the cornerback. Thorpe admits he had never heard that expression, but on reflection decided that is a good thing.

Hood, nephew of former Tiger star Roderick Hood, says he feels like he has made progress, too, noting he spends a significant amount of time going over video from practices to see what he is doing well and what he needs to improve, noting that is a major difference between high school and college football. Hood adds, "So far things are really going well and I am excited about that." A variety of Hood's defensive teammates say they like the way the newcomer is adapting to college football.

*Looking at the big picture going into scrimmage number two, Hood says he believes the offense is ahead of the defense, but notes the defense is making progress.

Tommy Trott (5) is expected to play a larger role in the offense as a junior.

*Tight end Tommy Trott says he is seeing signs the offense is making strides halfway through preseason drills on the way to the Aug. 30th opener vs. Louisiana-Monroe. "I think we are getting a lot better," he says. "I am seeing some good things. Personally, I am trying to make sure I make all the routine catches and that is a matter of concentrating on every ball whether it is a difficult catch or an easy one."

*Trott, who dropped weight earlier this year to improve his speed, says is right on his goal weight at 240 pounds. He started the practice on Friday at that weight and checked in at 237 after the session was finished.

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