Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ten to Remember: No. 7

Spring ball is little more than a month away. With so many players returning from last year’s team, the faces and names will largely remain the same. Here is a look at the 10 under-the-radar players fans should know/remember going into spring practice.

No. 10
LB Jessel Curry

No. 9
RB Dontae Aycock

No. 8
DE Craig Sanders

No. 7
QBs Tyrik Rollison and Clint Moseley

The paths to starting quarterback became much tougher to travel for both redshirt freshmen the day Cameron Newton signed with Auburn. That said, this spring is still pivotal for the pair.

Both players need to put themselves in a position to be the backup if they don’t win the starting job. Newton will be probably be around for two years. That means Moseley and Rollison are battling not only for the backup spot, but also the right to become the heir apparent.

Neil Caudle winning the position for a second consecutive year – especially when Auburn went the junior-college route to find a probable starter – would send up a red flag that Moseley and Rollison aren’t ready.

Moseley drew rave reviews from offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. He also apparently received praise from defensive coordinator Ted Roof behind closed doors because of the work he did for the scout team.

So what is my opinion of Moseley? The same as that of Rollison – none. I haven’t seen either throw one pass in a game situation – not even in a scrimmage.

Rollison entered Auburn as a more-heralded recruit. He was one of the Tigers' biggest gets in the 2009 recruiting class and the highest-rated dual-threat quarterback. He was also in the mix for the backup job this year until the last few weeks.

I do know this about Rollison: There are questions about him stemming from his bowl game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. Whether the suspension came from grades or disciplinary reasons, it raises an alert about his maturity or lack thereof.

Though Newton is considered the favorite for the spot, it would be foolish to rule anyone out before he throws his first pass in the spring. Moseley and Rollison need to compete during spring practice for the starting position because even if it isn’t a starting competition for this year, it might very well be for the 2011 or 2012 season.

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