What we learned during Auburn’s spring practice

NCAA Football: Auburn-Spring Game

SDS will be taking a tour around the conference and looking at each team’s progress – or lack thereof – made during spring camp. Next up, Auburn.

Here’s what we learned during Auburn spring practice:

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Passing game improved: With explosive receivers Sammy Coates and D’haquille Williams, how could the passing game not improve? On top of that add another year for Nick Marshall, who has an NFL arm, in Gus Malzahn’s system, and it’s a beautiful collision of sorts for the Tigers. The idea of a balanced offense is great, but Malzahn will continue to hit teams where it hurts the worst: either running or throwing. And even the idea of a potent passing game makes Auburn’s offense devastating. Pick your poison!

Williams is a playmaker: The coaches raved about D’haquille Williams all spring, and we found out why in the spring game. He catches the ball well, and his body control for his size is off the charts. That catch he made on the fade route in the corner of the end zone. Gasp. That’s an example of elite. Another weapon in addition to Sammie Coates is joining the most explosive offense in the country…and they have the physicality along the offensive line to set them apart.

An emerging replacement: Cancer survivor Shon Coleman has emerged as Greg Robinson’s replacement. Coleman was competing with Patrick Miller, who also had a strong spring, but Coleman looks like the guy. The former five-star prospect is regaining his form after he was away from football for two full years. Now, the 6-7 mammoth of a man could help anchor the Tigers’ offensive line.


A new safety: JUCO transfer Derrick Moncrief came to Auburn in the nick of time. A physical specimen at 6-2, 220 pounds, he stood out this spring at the boundary safety in Ellis Johnson’s defense. He looks more like an outside linebacker than he does a safety, and he’s athletic enough to make a serious impact in the secondary.

Let’s break down the biggest takeaways of every spring practice:

Photo Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports



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  • To be honest I thought that the receivers made Marshall look better than what he was. A lot of times during the A-Day game he just threw things up for grabs and his receivers went up and got the ball. Against a better secondary he may loose a lot of passes to interceptions. Johnson is not much better and doesn’t have the speed or legs that Marshall does. I believe Auburn’s QB position is more tenuous than people realize. Add to that a year for defensive coaches to study Malzahn’s rushing attack scheme and you have a perfect storm for everything to fall apart.

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