QB News Highlights Tuesday Practice

Two Auburn quarterbacks worked mostly with the first team at Tuesday night's practice. What does it mean?

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers practiced for the 12th time in the spring on Tuesday night with the emphasis on fine tuning things in preparation for Saturday's A-Day game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. One of the biggest question marks remains at the quarterback position where Kodi Burns, Neil Caudle and Barrett Trotter have battled all spring.

Recently it has been almost a two-man race at times with Burns and Caudle getting much of the work with the first team. Still things remain a mystery as to who the leading candidate is for the quarterback position. Caudle said while they would like to know, it doesn't stop them from doing what they do every day.

"It's not really tough," Caudle said. "We're just going to go out and do the same things we've been doing all spring, go out there and try to get better and try to have a good day of practice."

With just a handful of practice days remaining until the Tigers call it quits for the spring, Caudle said it makes each day a big one for all the quarterbacks involved in the race for number one.

"Each practice is real important for everybody," Caudle said. "Coach tells us everyday is an interview. We believe that. It's definitely important, especially coming down to the wire, to show what we can do."

Tuesday night the reps between Burns and Caudle and Trotter continued to move towards the two veterans as the juniors got much of the work with the first team. Coach Gene Chizik said while it doesn't signal an end in sight for the job it may begin to help them sort things out.

"We're getting to the point now where we're coming down to the end of spring practice," Chizik said. "You've got to try to decide where you're going to put your reps. Neil and Kodi took a lot of the reps tonight, not that Barrett didn't. It's not over at all, but as you come down this path at the end it's hard to evenly divide up reps between three people. That being said, we decided to give a few more reps to Neil and Kodi. Really that's the extent of it."

In addition to the quarterback reps, the Tigers did a great deal of work on special teams Tuesday night. Coach Jay Boulware said that junior kicker Wes Byrum had a solid night of pre-kicking, making 7-8 field goals. He said he's continued to get better and has currently moved to the top in the race for the starting kicker job. At the punter position he noted that Clinton Durst has been the more consistent punter this spring with Ryan Shoemaker also kicking well.

All of the kickers will be on display Saturday as the Tigers take the field in the annual A-Day game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. With limited depth at several positions, Chizik said they made the decision to handle the game on Saturday in much the same way the scrimmages have been held in recent weeks.

"We're going to go offense versus defense," Chizik said. "We're going to have a scoring system like we've been using all spring. With depth issues and things of that nature it's really hard to split up with two teams right now. We just feel that's the best way. That's how we've been doing it all spring. We're just going to continue to do that Saturday and let everybody know how we're going to score it."

With so much going on in and around the Auburn campus on Saturday, Chizik said it's an opportunity to showcase not only the football program but the entire university. He added he hopes to see a big crowd come out and support the team for A-Day.

"We're encouraging all of the fans to come to the stadium and watch," Chizik said. "We want them to be excited about A-Day. We've got to give them how we're going to score this thing so they know what's going on.

"We'll have some recruits there and some of our signees at the game," he added. "It's going to be a festive day. We want it for the Auburn people and for the Auburn players and for the Auburn family. We would love to see a great crowd."

Also on Tuesday, Chizik cleared up one of the question marks for spring practice as he said senior wide receiver Montez Billings was being held out of spring practice while clearing up some academic issues. He said junior tight end Gabe McKenzie was still dealing with medical issues and being held out of spring practice.

Auburn will return to the practice field on Thursday for practice 13 of the spring. Saturday's 1 p.m. kickoff for the A-Day game will serve as the next to last workout for the Tigers with a Sunday afternoon practice closing out spring.


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