New Receivers 'Answering the Bell'

Auburn receivers coach Trooper Taylor discusses his young wideouts.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the bright spots for the Auburn football team so far in preseason drills has been the play of the true freshman wide receivers.

DeAngelo Benton, Emory Blake, Anthony Gulley and Travante Stallworth have all shown the potential to contribute to the offense this season.

"The freshmen are doing really well," wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor says. "They have closed the gap and I am excited about where they are. I will be surprised if those guys aren't able to help us this year."

In Auburn's second major scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday, Stallworth was involved in the longest offensive play as he caught a perfectly thrown bomb from freshman quarterback Tyrik Rollison for a touchdown that Rollison launched more than 60 yards in the air.

At the start of the scrimmage, Blake turned a short pass that looked to be stopped for minimal yardage into a nice gainer. That prompted head coach Gene Chizik to yell encouragement to the freshman, telling the receiver that was how to play football.

Gulley had the longest run of the first scrimmage on a reverse play. He had multiple impressive plays in scrimmage two as a runner, receiver and also had a nice gain on a punt return.

Benton, a high school All-American who sat out of football last fall while working on qualifying, has made significant improvement this summer and is pushing for serious playing time, too, Taylor points out.

"To me they have stepped up, they have answered the bell," the coach says of the freshmen receivers. "I really feel good about those guys playing. How much, we will see. I will be surprised if these three or four freshmen can't help us in the rotation."

Jay Wisner (82) gets instruction from Trooper Taylor.

Another newcomer in the mix at receiver is junior college transfer Jay Wisner, who made improvement from the first scrimmage to the second one, Taylor notes.

"There are some things he has got to get better at on blocking," the coach says. "His blocking on the perimeter wasn't as good as I would have liked it to have been, but he caught the football really well and made some plays."

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