McKenzie Excited About New System

Gabe McKenzie

Auburn sophomore Gabe McKenzie gives his reaction to his first practice experience with Tony Franklin.

Auburn, Ala.--One practice is in the books for Tony Franklin and the Auburn offense. On Friday the Tigers practiced for about two hours and worked on some of the new system in preparation for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Clemson.

"Oh boy, I can't explain it," Gabe McKenzie says of Friday's practice. "We haven't put too many plays in the offense yet, but so far so good. Everything is on par.

"I like it," he adds. "We've got to get conditioned because it requires a lot of personnel with people coming in and out."

Under the direction of Franklin, the Troy Trojans led the nation in offensive plays per game this year.

McKenzie caught 13 passes for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Tigers this season as a sophomore, and he was the leading receiver from his position. McKenzie, Cole Bennett and Tommy Trott caught just 25 passes all season.

Troy didn't use a tight end in the offense this season with Franklin calling the plays, but the system did involve the tight end heavily during his time at Kentucky. James Whalen caught a school record 90 passes at that position for the Wildcats in 1999.

"That's past exciting," McKenzie notes. "This is going to be tight end friendly.

"I think this is going to open us up in the offense," he adds of the system. "I heard it works and it's going to get us a lot of points, a lot of snaps, a lot of everything."

After Monday's practice, which started at 10 a.m., the offensive players went into meetings with their coaches.

"We don't know much yet," McKenzie explains. "We're on a way to a meeting now so we're trying to get it."

So far McKenzie says he likes what he sees from the new coordinator. "He's cool. Coming in being the new coordinator, he's going to tell us his system and expect us to learn it. He's calm, but at the same time when he wants to get his point across he can get in your face and tell you what he needs or wants."

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