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August 9, 2011Auburn held its first morning practice of fall camp Tuesday, but the Tigers must have missed their wake-up calls.
"It was not good," coach Gene Chizik said. "At all."
Auburn worked out for more than two hours in full pads, the first of two practices scheduled for the day.
"I thought they were trying to pace themselves to get through to the next (practice), which is very discouraging," said Chizik. "I thought their focus was not there, not the way we expect it. I thought they tried to be physical, they tried to do some things when it came to effort, but the mental part was definitely not there."
Auburn lost 23 seniors from the 2010 team and will go into the '11 season with a roster made up of mostly underclassmen. Chizik said the lack of upperclassmen and leaders could be a reason for the lackluster performance.
"There are some guys that are trying to step up as leaders, but there aren't enough of them right now," he said. "I think part of it is youth. Mentally, they just weren't there. We have to get better."
One player that is taking on more of a leadership role this year is cornerback T'Sharvan Bell. The junior said he saw some of the same things his coach did Tuesday morning.
"It was clear it wasn't a good practice," said Bell. "I saw some guys trying to survive. That goes for the whole team. I brought it up in practice that, 'Don't just try to survive out here. If you're able to walk off the field and you're breathing, you haven't done enough.'
"I tell guys, 'Pass out. We'll carry you in.'"
The Tigers are scheduled to return to the practice fields at 5:40 this afternoon.
"Hopefully, they have enough pride in themselves to come out and have a different frame of mind in the second one," said Chizik.
*** Walk-on quarterback Logan Paul has joined the team for fall camp filling the spot on the roster previously held by Cody Frederick. Frederick decided to leave the team, Chizik said.
*** Freshman linebacker Kris Frost, the highest-ranked signee in the Tigers' 2011 class, will not play this fall. The former five-star recruit suffered a shoulder injury during the summer.
"It's not going to be this season. There's no way," Chizik said of Frost's return. "We were counting on him to help us. I hate to see it, but he'll rebound and he'll do great."
*** Redshirt freshman fullback Ladarious Phillips, listed at 6-foot, 291 pounds, has been inconsistent so far this fall, according to Chizik.
"Some days he looks like he has made some progress. Some days he takes two steps back," said Chizik. "I certainly have not bought any stock in his development, yet. He is showing flashes that he can do some things that we are asking him to do, but he still has a long ways to go."
*** Quarterback Barrett Trotter said freshman receiver Jaylon Denson has stood out to him so far this fall.
"He's been doing good, stepping up and making plays," said Trotter. "He's one of those guys who has the talent to step up and play some for us this year. He has to make sure he knows exactly what to do. That's something they're doing a good job of."
*** Trotter on freshman quarterback Kiehl Frazier:
"He's picking up things good. He's got a really strong arm," said Trotter. "He does some really good things sometimes, and then sometimes gets confused and doesn't know what to do. But that's part of being a freshman. That's something he's going to have to work through. Overall, he's doing really well."
*** Sophomore defensive end Nosa Eguae on what he has seen from the revamped offensive line:
"We've got guys that are hungry, guys that are literally just giving us great looks. I'm excited about that group," he said. "A lot of guys are talking, 'Oh ... you lost four guys.' But we have guys that are hungry and physical and willing to get the job done. I'm looking forward to watching them on Saturdays, for sure."
*** Eguae on sophomore defensive end Craig Sanders:
"He's 265 (pounds), runs like the wind, and he's a great player," Eguae said. "With us as a duo, I can't wait to just give tackles a hard time and give offensive coordinators a hard time, too."
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