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Tigerbytes: Blackson is back

AUBURN – After two weeks pent mostly watching, junior defensive tackle Angelo Blackson was back on the field Saturday for Auburn’s second major scrimmage of spring practice. And he was happy to be back.

Defensive tackle Angelo Blackson returned from a shoulder injury Saturday

“Just a little shoulder injury,” Blackson said. “Nothing serious. Nothing that's going to stop me. I was pretty much feeling good today. I'm going to finish the spring out and get ready for A-Day.”

Blackson said he did all he could to keep up.

“I've been in my playbook,” Blackson said. “Every time I'm out, I'm taking mental reps. I'm trying to stay involved. I'm hanging out with the boys. It feels kind of weird watching them out there every play, knowing they're tired and need me in the rotation. They took it on like a man and made plays. I'm ready to get back into the rotation and help everybody out, help the team out.”

Senior linebacker Jake Holland said Saturday he shares defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson’s frustration about a class schedule that forces him to miss practice and meeting time.

“Yeah, there is going to be frustration there,” Holland said. “But I’m not really that frustrated about it. I know it will work itself out. Coach Johnson is going to play the best players. I had no choice but to take this class, so I guess I have to do what I have to do.”

Holland said the defense has improved over the course of spring practice.

“I think we’ve taken a couple of steps forward from the end of last year and will continue to do that,” Holland said. “Each day we are getting better.”

Holland said he and his teammates have put the disappointment of last season behind them.

“I think we already have,” Holland said. “Something like that, you have to put it behind you. If you keep dwelling on it, it’s going to hurt you in the future.”

Senior Kenneth Carter, a defensive tackle for his first three seasons is a first-team defensive end now, and he welcomes the change.

“It’s a great experience,” Carter said. “I’m going to try to take it one step at a time and try to help the team the best I can. I’m going to give 110 percent. I think I’ve progressed pretty well. I got a little faster, toned down a little bit.”

Wide receiver Sammie Coates said he is excited about the offense’s progress.

“Since the first practice, we've improved a lot,” Coates said. “At the first practice, a lot of people were tired and out of breath. Now you've got people energized, and can stay on the field longer. We're getting a whole lot better with the pace.”

Coates said he felt good about the offense’s performance in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“In my head today, it was all good,” Coates said. “We started scoring points, making big plays like we're supposed to.”

Holland said Star Justin Garrett has impressed his teammates as much as he’s impressed his coaches.

“I think he found a position that really works for him,” Holland said. “With his body type and his speed, he’s really going to help us in that position.”

For video interviews with Coates, Carter and Holland, follow the links below.

VIDEO: SAMMIE COATES

VIDEO: JAKE HOLLAND

VIDEO: KENNETH CARTER

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