A-Day Notes and Quotes

A report on Auburn's spring football game is featured.

Following are some comments from players following Saturday's A-Day game.

*Although he only gained six yards on four rushing attempts, junior running back Mario Fannin showed his versatility in Gus Malzone's offense. Fannin caught a tipped pass from Kodi Burns for a 41-yard gain to set up a nine-yard touchdown run by Ben Tate.

Fannin capped his day by slipping out of the backfield and getting wide open to pull in a four-yard scoring pass from Neil Caudle. Fannin finished with 71 yards receiving on four receptions.

"The coaches trust me and put the ball in my hands. With my teammates' help, I made a couple of big plays. It all worked out great," Fannin said. "I felt great being back in the stadium again and celebrating with my teammates."

*Cornerback Walter McFadden said with the first unit defense going against the second offense it gave the "twos a chance to step up and play hard."

The senior observed, "I think this spring brought us together as Auburn. A lot of things started getting out of hand last year--a lot of group things--but this spring has brought us back together as one. The turmoil is the past. We're moving to the future. The defense last year had the hard hats. We still have the hard hats, but now we're just one."

Junior defensive lineman Zach Clayton also said he believes the team has gotten closer. "I think we've come together as a team in a big way this spring. We've gotten back to the physical mentality of the game."

*Walk-on redshirt freshman running back Justin Albert said he is excited about the opportunity the coaching staff is giving him. He is also thankful for being back in action after recovering from a high school knee injury that limited his work last fall.

"I was out a year and I hated it because I love the game of football and it was the first year I didn't play," he said. "I feel great now. I recovered good and am out there running the ball. Walking on makes me want to do everything perfect. I just have to work that much harder. I feel special because I go out and practice every day and the coaches want to put me on the field."

*Junior defensive lineman Mike Blanc was adamant prior to the game that the first defensive unit would continue to rule over the offense like it did in most practices leading up to A-Day. The first defense played only briefly against the second offense and the first offense put 57 points up against defenses of mostly second and third teamers.

Blanc wasn't concerned about the outcome.

"I think it was a pretty good way they did it today," he said. "There was no reason for the first defense to play against the second offense. Our defensive line coach (Tracy Rocker) already has a pretty good understanding about what we can contribute when the season comes around. That's why the guys on the first defense didn't play that much."

*Auburn officials announced the attendance as 45,381, which is the highest they could find for an A-Day Game checking their records on Saturday. The 2008 crowd figure was 35,000 and 2007 was 31,757. AU's previous high is believed to be the 38,016 that showed up in 2003.


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