Chizik: Players Must Meet "High Standard"

Comments from head football coach Gene Chizik are featured as Auburn prepares for the start of spring football practice on Tuesday.

Auburn, Ala.--With his players back on campus on Monday after returning from a week layoff with the university on spring break, new head coach Gene Chizik and his new Auburn football coaching staff will have the Tigers on the practice field for the first time on Tuesday night.

The Tigers are scheduled to use four of their allotted 15 practice days in the first week of spring training with workouts also scheduled for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

The schedule for week two of spring drills is the same with practices set for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

With the practices closed to Tiger fans the first time they will be able to get a look at the 2009 Tigers is on Saturday, April 18th, which will be the next to last practice when the Tigers have their annual A-Day Game that will kick off at 1 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Tigers are then scheduled to conclude spring drills with a session the following evening.

Chizik says the number one question he is asked is who is going to be the starting quarterback. "I don't know," he says. "We will just have to wait and see. We will start with a clean slate there and it is the same with everybody, and I think that is good for everybody."

Last season Kodi Burns and Chris Todd each spent part of the season as the starting quarterback. Burns will be a junior this fall and Todd, who is trying to bounce back from offseason shoulder surgery, will be a senior. Neil Caudle, a backup last year, returns as a junior. Barrett Trotter also is back after being redshirted last fall as a true freshman.

Neil Caudle will try to move up the depth chart and impress new offensive coordinator and QB coach Gus Malzahn this spring.

"The guys who have played in the past will have to keep doing something to play," Chizik says. "The guys who haven't played, they will have a window of opportunity right now to prove they can play. We are excited about it."

Chizik, who was head coach at Iowa State the past two seasons, spent three years as defensive coordinator of the Tigers before leaving for the same role at the University of Texas after Auburn's 13-0 2004 season. He notes that his goal is to get the program back to that same level after the Tigers slumped to a 5-7 record last year and he was hired to replace Tommy Tuberville.

"We are going to hold the kids to a high standard," Chizik says. "If they are not there, they are going to have to come up to that standard because we are not going down to theirs if they are not there. They are going to have to come up.

"We have got some work to do," he says. "If these kids understand Auburn, and what Auburn is all about, they will get it. If they don't get it, they won't be here very long. That is where about where we are at."

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