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July 18, 2012

SEC Media Days: Player Notes

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HOOVER, Ala. - Emory Blake knows quarterback Kiehl Frazier has a chance to be great this season.

The senior wideout needs only to look at his hands.

Blake said Wednesday at SEC Media Days that Auburn's sophomore quarterback, who's competing with junior Clint Moseley for the starting job, has upgraded his arm strength significantly since the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Simply catching passes, Blake said, can be a painful experience.

"He can bruise you," the wideout said with a smile. "He can knock you down with the ball, knock you off your feet. He probably has the strongest arm I've ever seen on a quarterback. Cam (Newton) might be stronger now, I don't play with him now, but Kiehl throws harder than Cam did when he was here."

ANOTHER TAKE: Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen also said Wednesday that he's seen serious improvement from Frazier.

The senior had a different line of reasoning.

"Coach (Scot) Loeffler has done a lot for him," Lutzenkirchen said. "Last year, (Frazier) wasn't that comfortable with everything. Now he's taken that leadership role. He's earned everyone's respect because when something goes wrong, he takes the blame. He's accountable."

RED WOLVES FAN: When former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn left for Arkansas State late last season, some players felt betrayed.

Blake wasn't one of them.

He said Wednesday that catching some Arkansas State games on television will be a goal this fall. And he'll be cheering for the Red Wolves.

"I'm one of his players. He's the reason I'm at Auburn," Blake said. "A lot of guys I know are coaching there with (Malzahn) and I like all of them. Coach Malzahn never lied to me. He said that one day he wanted to be a head coach. I'm glad he got his chance."

NEWCOMERS STEPPING UP: Defensive end Corey Lemonier was asked Wednesday to identify a freshman who has made a significant impact during summer workouts.

After a short pause to consider his options, Lemonier settled on wideout Ricardo Louis.

"The receiver he's doing really well," Lemonier said. "I'm with the seniors and mostly with the defense, but I've heard a lot about him. People say he's really good."

Blake, who has worked directly with Louis this summer, was more reserved when asked about him.

"The freshmen are just getting there," Blake said. "It's hard to see if some of the freshman can help us right now. They're still in the learning process. We'll see how it works in fall camp."

When pressed for a freshman defender, Lemonier said defensive end Gimel President has been practicing well.

"He'll do all the dirty work," Lemonier said. "He goes full speed all the time, even when we're not wearing pads. That gets the offensive linemen mad, but maybe that's good, too. Playing in the SEC, he'll need that."

BAD APPLES ARE JUST THAT: Blake was asked Wednesday if he's insulted by suggestions that Auburn's image has taken a hit during the past year.

He laughed at the suggestion.

"A whole group of guys shouldn't be questioned because of two or three guys," Blake said. "We're not a group of thugs or anything like that."



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