Young Players In Spotlight at Auburn Practice

Auburn put on the pads for a busy Sunday night football practice session.

Auburn, Ala.--It was back to basics at Sunday night's Auburn football practice as redshirts plus players who have seen minimal action received plenty of attention from the coaches.

The Tigers worked in full pads for two hours on a warm and misty night with fog obscuring the practice field lights in Auburn's second day of bowl practices. The Tigers will be off until Wednesday while they finish fall semester final exams.

"We did some extra work with our young guys today and it was really good to see those guys get a chance to compete and what we have done is we have incorporated them back into our individual periods so they are learning the fundamentals again," said assistant head coach Trooper Taylor. "We kind of focused on that as well with the older guys."

Some of the young players singled out by Auburn coaches on Sunday night included quarterbacks Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley. Trotter, who went down with a knee injury in spring drills, threw the ball well, according to offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who added that wasn't a surprise because he had seen what Trotter can do in the spring. "He is a competitor," Malzahn said. "He throws a real tight ball. The ball comes out of his hand really well and he is a decent runner, too, but he has got a lot of good leadership qualities."

Barrett Trotter

Malzahn and Taylor both said that Mosley, who was Alabama's Mr. Football last season as a senior at Leroy High, did a good job of throwing the ball in practice, too. Throughout the fall Mosley has been working as the scout team quarterback.

The other redshirting freshman quarterback, Tyrik Rollison, was in the mix for the starting job won by Chris Todd back in August. Rollison is currently suspended from the team. Malzahn said not to count Rollison out of the mix for the starting job in 2010 just because he is missing Auburn's bowl practices. Asked how far behind Rollison would be missing the bowl practices, Malzahn said, "He got a lot of reps during the year so I wouldn't say much."

Taylor said he liked what he saw from Mosley, who won praise for the quality of his work on special teams this fall. "Mosley slung that ball around today," Taylor said.

Malzahn said he liked what he saw from Moseley, too. "Tonight was really the first night we got a chance to see him run our offense and he did a solid job. Barrett Trotter also got some reps and those two guys will be given quite a few reps before we leave for the bowl site. Both of them did a good job tonight. Both are eager, they are hard workers, they pay attention to detail and they want to be good. It was fun to coach those guys tonight.

Another standout from the scout team, running back Dontae Aycock, won praise from Malzahn and Taylor. "Aycock looked really good," Taylor said. "He did some things that were impressive."

Aycock played quarterback in high school last season as did Robert Cooper, who has been working on the scout team at tight end this year. Cooper, from Daphne, "blocked the perimeter really well," Taylor pointed out.

Taylor said the Tigers were able to do a lot of one-on-one drills, something he said they really needed to do after being off from football the past two weeks prior to having an indoor workout on Saturday. Overall, Taylor said he liked what he saw on Sunday night.

"It was good to see the guys jumping around," he said. "They really had a great practice today. They were flying around. What gives me a good indication is how they move around in special teams because that's when both sides cross over, and they were flying around."

Nosa Eguae

News and Notes: Taylor said that freshmen wideouts DeAngelo Benton and Emory Blake got plenty of attention on Sunday night...Redshirt freshman Phillip Pierre-Louis, who had been basically limited to special teams duty since coming back from knee surgery, got a chance to run plays with the offense on Sunday...Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said Sunday's practice gave him plenty of time to look at freshman Nosa Egaue, who was scheduled to be in the playing rotation at defensive end this before suffering a foot injury the week of Auburn's opening game vs. Louisiana Tech. Rocker said he likes Eguae's potential...Rocker said the bowl practices will allow him extra time to work with young linemen such as Jamar Travis, Derrick Lykes and Dee Ford. "Today was a great day for those guys--I call them the young Tigers, the future Tigers."...Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said on Sunday that getting young players extra reps are important this month, but added the number one objective is to win the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day vs. Northwestern...Offensively, Malzahn said he told his younger players that the bowl practices are like an early start on spring training. "We are challenging our guys and we will find out more the more we go."


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