AUBURN - Who will start on Auburn's offensive line in the first game is a long way from being decided, but six players are working at the five first-team spots after two days of spring practice.
Scot Loeffler makes a point to freshman quarterback Zeke Pike/Anthony Hall photo
According to redshirt freshman left tackle Greg Robinson, it looks like this:
LG: John Sullen, Sr.
C: Reese Dismukes, So.
RT: Chad Slade, So.
"Right now, Coach Grimes says nothing is set," Robinson said.
After two days in shorts and helmets, Auburn players will put on full-gear in Monday morning's practice.
"There is a lot of energy, a lot of talk amongst teammates," junior defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker said. "I think everybody is enthused for Monday to come. It's going to be early in the morning. I think everybody is ready to fly around and hit people and at the same time take care of your teammates."
Head coach Gene Chizik said the learning that goes with new schemes won't affect the physical nature of practices.
"We always plan on having very physical practice and always have," Chizik said. Our plan is for this to be a very physical spring practice. Our plan is to start Monday."
Freshman offensive lineman Patrick Miller laughed out loud when he was asked about Internet rumors that he is unhappy and wanted to return to LSU, where he once planned to sign.
"Someone said something like that," Miller said. "No, that's not true at all! I love Auburn and couldn't be more happy."
Freshman wide receiver Sammie Coates said he has lost no speed despite gaining 25 pounds.
"I ran a 4.29 the last time we ran it here," Coates said. "Before I came out of high school I ran a 4.3."
Not even that is enough to make Coates the fastest Tiger.
"I wish," Coates said. "I'm up there, but there are a couple of guys that are faster than I am."
Chizik said he likes what he's seen in the first two days of practice. He liked it Friday and he liked it again Saturday.
"Again, I thought the focus was there, the energy was there," Chizik said. I'm proud of our team after two days because I think they are concentrating and trying to improve.
Running back Corey Grant, eligible now after transferring from Alabama, said he is comfortable and happy.
"It's more family-oriented," Grant said. "Both are great atmospheres, but it just seems closer here."
Junior Clint Moseley and sophomore Kiehl Frazier, the leading contenders to be next season's starting quarterback, agree that the race can wait. Their focus is learning new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's schemes. True freshman Zeke Pike has not been available for interviews, but it's safe to assume his focus is no different. And that, Loeffler has said, is just the way he wants it.
Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said Loeffler includes all the offensive coaches in putting together the scheme the Tiger will use next season. But he said the idea that Gus Malzahn didn't do the same is off base
"That's a bum rap on Gus," Taylor said. "He included us, too."
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