Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn football Tigers opened the two-a-days portion of preseason with a workout that lasted 2 1/2 hours and left the coach in a much better mood than the previous night’s practice.
Gene Chizik said the tempo, effort and energy was higher as the Tigers spent half of their practice in full pads, half without pads installing offensive plays and defensive alignments preparing for the first scrimmage of the preseason that is set for Wednesday.
The Tigers will be back on the field for another practice on Tuesday night that is expected to contain a good bit of contact work.
“Obviously we are going to be very demanding on that (effort) to make sure we get that every day and yesterday we didn’t,” Chizik said.
Corey Lemonier (55) is one of the newcomers who will have a chance to contribute this season for the Tigers.
The coach singled out freshman Corey Lemonier for performing well at the quick defensive end (weakside) spot so far in practice. “He is doing a really, really nice job and he is going to push somebody for a position,” Chizik said.
“I usually don’t say that this early, but he is really coming on strong,” the coach added. “He is exactly what we thought he would be. There are some other freshmen who are doing a really nice job, too, but off the top of my head he jumps out.”
Tailback Michael Dyer will have a chance to see plenty of action this fall as a freshman. The Under Armour All-American is from Little Rock, Ark., is shown at Wednesday’s practice.
Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) has received praise from offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn this week. On his right is Bradley Seals, a 6-4, 266 sophomore walk-on tight end from Moody.
In other news and notes:
*Chizik said the coaches and medical staff haven’t decided whether or not they will let Zac Etheridge have full contact at Wednesday’s scrimmage. The senior safety was cleared to practice and play last month, but the coach notes they are being careful in his comeback from a serious neck and back injury.
*Freshman wide receiver Trovon Reed missed the Tuesday workout with what was described as a minor injury and he should be back in time for Wednesday’s scrimmage.
*Sophomore wide receiver DeAngelo Benton is expected to miss the scrimmage with a cracked bone in his finger that has kept him sidelined for all six of the preseason practices.
Antoine Carter is a returning starter at defensive end. The senior is shown at the first of Auburn’s two-a-days practices on Tuesday. NCAA rules allow just three two-a-days workouts.
*For Wednesday’s scrimmage, as usual the quarterbacks won’t be “live” meaning they are off limits to contact. Chizik said he will be looking for consistency and execution on both sides of the football and he wants to keep penalties to a minimum. Officials will be there to call penalties like it is a game.
*Chizik said that junior linebacker Eltoro Freeman has been doing a good job of focusing in to become a better football player.
*The coach said that another second year juco transfer, Demond Washington, is an improved player from last year. Chizik noted that the senior is having a good preseason camp.
*Daren Bates, a Freshman All-SEC safety last year, said that his shoulder that required surgery after the season is 100 percent well. Bates, who is moving to linebacker, noted that he is excited about the change and points out he will be doing many of the same things he did as a safety, particularly in pass coverage.
*Quarterback Cameron Newton said on Tuesday that he has been impressed with how freshman Antonio Goodwin has been catching the football. Washington is a speedster out of Washington High in Atlanta.
Commenting on Goodwin, the quarterback said, "He is an explosive player who is capable of getting out on his routes very fast. He is learning from Darvin (Adams) and Darvin is doing a good job of teaching him."
Commenting on practice, Newton added, "Everything is going fine. Every day is a new install. We are just trying to get the plays in and run them better."
Antonio Goodwin catches a kickoff as running backs coach Curtis Luper, who is in charge of kickoff returns, watches at Tuesday’s practice.
*Former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye was a visitor to Tuesday’s practice and he said he liked what he is seeing so far from the 2010 team.
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