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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Some A Day Observations and Hope for the Future

This A Day game will go down as one of the best that I have attended. Of course, there was no pressure because Auburn could not lose the game and some players were playing for both teams. There were recruits for baseball and football in attendance and several left committed to Auburn. A shout out to Steven Williams, a baseball recruit that I met yesterday on my way to the softball game. Welcome to the Auburn family Steven and I look forward to watching you play at Auburn. 

The weather was perfect and the offense was really clicking. Of course, this game was just a scrimmage to entertain the Auburn fan base and Chip Lindsey did not disappoint with the play calling. It was the Blue Team (first team players) 37 and the White Team (second team) 13. It was an air show by Jarrett Stidham in the first half. He was 16 for 20 for 267 yards and I was impressed with his accuracy and arm strength. He seemed to know where his receivers were located and the ball was on target. He was able to place the ball in some tight spots and I felt like I was watching a 7 on 7 flag football game since the QB could not be touched. As one writer told me, "you cannot coach arm strength and this kid can throw the ball well in tight places". Malik Willis played QB for the Blue and White team and was 11 for 18 for 157 yards. Also, he ran the ball 8 times for 42 yards and 1 TD. I do feel that he will be a good read option QB for Auburn in the future. Woody Barrett saw limited action on the field. He was 2 for 2 for 14 yards.

Nate Craig-Myers is healthy and it was evident by his play on the field. He caught 5 passes for 154 yards and he will be hard to cover this fall. I felt like he and Jarrett Stidham have established a good connection and was his favorite receiver for the day. Darius Slayton caught 3 passes for 65 yards and will only improve. Will Hastings had 7 receptions for 75 yards. 

Despite the passing display, Auburn did run the ball. Kamryn Pettway did not play. Kerryon Johnson had 7 carries for 47 yards and 1 TD. Kerryon did sprain his ankle in the second quarter and left the game. C.J. Tolbert had 9 carries for 30 yards and 1 TD and Kam Martin finished with 8 carries for 30 yards. 

Daniel Carlson kicked 5 field goals and his longest was 55 yards. He also punted the ball and averaged 43.8 yards a punt. Ian Shannon was not present due to personal family reasons. I was walking to my car after the softball game and I saw Daniel Carlson on the practice field kicking field goals. I am sure that he will be a finalist for the "Lou Groza" award again this year and he will be kicking on Sunday for one lucky team in the NFL.

The offensive line play should be solid by the start of the season and Austin Golson performed well at center. Austin made the right decision to transfer to Auburn from Ole Miss.

Of course, many people came to see how the offense would perform, but the defense will be hard to run against next season. Auburn's front 7 will be stout. Paul James III was the defensive MVP and played at the "Buck" defensive end position.  He had 4 tackles and 3 were for a loss and a sack. At times, I thought that I was watching Carl Lawson on the field again. He has recovered well from knee surgery and will be hard to block.

I have a good feeling about this Auburn team and they do have many offensive weapons at their disposal. It was a great day to be on the Auburn campus.

War Eagle!

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