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August 20, 2011

Saturday practice notebook

Auburn held a half-scrimmage inside Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday morning, but for the first time of fall camp wasn't looking for a starting quarterback to come from it.

The Tigers named junior Barrett Trotter the starter Thursday.

Saturday, Chizik said, was more about finding out which younger players could contribute this season, and giving them as many game-like repetitions as possible before it starts. Auburn hosts Utah State in just two weeks.

"It went well," said Chizik. "I don't think there's anything earth shattering from the short scrimmage that we had other than the experience that we gained from it."

Freshman Kiehl Frazier got all of the work at quarterback during the scrimmage. The true freshman is listed as the Tigers No. 3 quarterback behind Trotter and sophomore Clint Moseley.

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn addressed the media Saturday for the first time since naming Trotter the starter.

"He's an experienced guy," Malzahn said of Trotter. "He's mentally and physically tough. He throws the ball on time well. He knows the ins and outs of the offense, the protections, the hots, and that is very important. He's got a quick release. The ball gets out quick. He understands when to put something on it and when to take something off.

"He's also going to represent us the right way. We know what we are going to get when he's out there. He's not going to get too high or too low."

Malzahn said the decision was as tough as he thought it would be.

"It was a close race," said Malzahn. "I'm very proud of Clint Moseley. He's a quality quarterback that could start for a whole lot of people. He'll be ready. Clint will be ready if he's called up. He's one play away and he will prepare like he is the starter, also."



Quick-hitters



*** Freshman wide receiver Sammie Coates will undergo foot surgery next week, according to Chizik. Coates, who signed with the Tigers in February out of Leroy, Ala., may not be lost for the season, though.

"We hope for a very speedy recovery and we hope that we can possibly get him back at some point during the year," said Chizik. "We'll have ongoing updates and see where that falls. He was doing excellent."

*** Sophomore Michael Dyer juniors Onterio McCalebb and Anthony Morgan, and freshman Tre Mason will all contribute this season, Chizik said.

"Everybody that is eligible to play at running back, we are counting on all of them to play a role," said Chizik.

Transfers Corey Grant and Mike Blakely will be not be eligible due to transfer rules.

*** Defensive coordinator Ted Roof on sophomore cornerback Chris Davis: "He has really improved. He's matured as a football player. The game has really slowed down for him. He's had a good camp and I'm really excited about him not only as a player, but as a leader."

*** Auburn will take Sunday and Monday off before returning to practice Tuesday at 4:40 p.m. CT. The two-day break is needed, according to Chizik.

"It's a great time. We are tired," he said. "We have worked really, really hard. It's coming at a great time."


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