Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Practice notes from Wednesday

Auburn coach Gene Chizik's decision to split practice on Wednesday went over well with both veterans and newcomers alike.
Chizik seemingly divided the lines by the players that practiced during the spring and the players that did not. For newcomers like DE Nosa Eguae, that means more opportunities to catch coaches' attention.
QB Neil Caudle, however, provided what I thought was the most interesting comment on splitting the practice: "I think that for the older guys, we get more reps, more time with the coaches, get to move at a little faster pace since we've already done it before. For the younger guys, it's even better for them, because they get more one-on-one time with the coaches and actually get reps and usually at this time during two-a-days, they'd be just having to watch, but I think getting out there and going through the reps with other guys that are just starting also is really helping also."
For more on splitting the practice, read Thursday's story.

PPL STILL WITH TEAM: Philip Pierre-Louis was a notable absentee during Auburn’s first practice, but that doesn’t mean his career at Auburn came to an official end Wednesday.
The redshirt freshman was not at the Tigers’ first practice, nor was he listed on the roster. Chizik confirmed that Pierre-Louis is not currently with the team, but said he expects the receiver to re-join the team by the time the season starts.
“Philip is not with us right now, but he’ll be back when school starts,” Chizik said. “He is still on our football team.”
Pierre-Louis took a medical redshirt in 2008 after he tore his ACL during the first play of the season.
“He’s got some personal things that he’s dealing with and it might be sooner than that,” receivers coach Trooper Taylor said.
While Pierre-Louis is still with the team, walk-on tailback Justin Albert is not. Running backs coach Curtis Luper said Albert stood out at times during spring practice. He was also in the mix as the primary punt returner.
Chizik said Albert is no longer with the team.

JUCO-BOUND: The waiting game ended for defensive linemen Terrance Coleman and Josh Jackson on Wednesday.
After the pair waited a few months to find out if the NCAA Clearinghouse would allow them to play this year, Chizik said neither would play for Auburn this season. Instead, both have enrolled in junior college. Chizik did not specify which school they would attend.
“Obviously we wish them well,” Chizik said. “They’re great kids with a great future. This is just kind of the direction they felt was best for themselves at this point.”
With Coleman and Jackson out, the Tigers are now waiting on two more players. Safety Daren Bates should receive word in the next few days about his status. Cornerback Taikwon Paige is the other player waiting for word.

INJURY UPDATE: Safety Mike McNeil, receiver Tim Hawthorne and quarterback Barrett Trotter all attended practice on Monday. None of them participated, though McNeil, who returns as the team’s starting free safety dressed out for the first camp session.
Neither Hawthorne nor Trotter wore their helmets during practice. Hawthorne is expected back within the next few weeks. Trotter is likely out for the season.

MOVING TO END: In a late May interview with the Mobile Press-Register, Daphne product Robert Cooper said he accepted a scholarship from Auburn partly because he could compete at the quarterback position.
That apparently didn’t last long. The true freshman was listed as a tight end on the roster.
Chizik said in Hoover before his appearance at SEC Media Days that two newcomers would push for the position, now clearly meaning Tyrik Rollison and Clint Moseley.
“Robert’s a big kid who’s a really good athlete and can do a lot of different things,” Chizik said. “We certainly need help at that position. That’s where we felt like starting out would be the best thing. He’s a great kid. He’ll do anything to help the team, so it’s really kind of a great move.”

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