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Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011

Auburn football notes: Tigers ready to sign autographs at Fan Day today

- abitter@ledger-enquirer.com
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AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn football team’s annual Fan Day will be today at the Auburn Arena from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT. Doors will open around 2:30 p.m.

All of the Tigers’ players, head coach Gene Chizik, the Auburn cheerleaders and soccer and volleyball teams will be available to sign autographs at the free event. Posters and schedule cards will be provided at no charge, although fans may bring only one item to be signed.

Fans also will have the opportunity to take photos with the Bowl Championship Series national title trophy.

The football team’s returning starters will be best accessed by going through the south entrance of the arena. Offensive and special teams players will be on the main arena floor, while the defense will be located on the scholarship terrace on the main concourse level.

Fans seeking Chizik’s autograph are asked to enter the arena through the Scholarship Entry on the southeast corner. There will be no access to Chizik’s line from inside the arena.

Scrimmage specifics

Auburn’s players and coaches again weren’t forthcoming with details about Saturday’s scrimmage, but some emerged anyway:

Defensive end Corey Lemonier said the defense had the better day.

Running back Tre Mason followed up his three-touchdown performance in the first scrimmage with another strong day, earning praise from the coaches.

“He can run the football, no doubt about that,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “It’s just asking him to do all the other things running backs do in our system. He’s shown some toughness and ability to run.”

Lemonier singled out defensive lineman Devaunte Sigler as having a strong day.

“He just brings that toughness,” Lemonier said. “He’s relentless. He runs to the ball. He’s not in the greatest shape, but he’s out there hustling.”

Lemonier also praised freshman defensive tackle Angelo Blackson. “I’ll take him to a back alley,” he said. “He has my back.”

Held out

Several players were held out of the scrimmage because of injuries, including running back Mike Dyer, who Chizik said Friday was a little “beat up” from the first week and a half of practice.

Dyer was in attendance, although there is no indication of when he will return or what ails him.

Offensive tackles A.J. Greene and Aubrey Phillips remained out. Neither has practiced in the past week because of undisclosed injuries.

A pair of freshmen also sat out the scrimmage, according to Internet reports: Freshman wide receiver Sammie Coates was on crutches and in a walking boot; defensive tackle Gabe Wright, from Carver High, also sat out with an undisclosed injury.

Expansion thoughts

With rumors of Texas A&M’s possible move to the SEC accelerating, football fans all over the country have weighed in on another shakeup to the conference structure.

Chizik, as expected, hasn’t given it much thought.

“You know I’m really focused on Auburn football,” he said. “We’ve got a great commissioner, we’ve got great ADs, we’ve got great presidents. I’m sure they’ll do what’s best for the league. Right now, I’m worried about Auburn football.”

Extra points

Mason permanently switched his jersey from No. 41 to 21. ... Auburn has practice No. 12 tonight at 8:10 p.m. after Fan Day. The Tigers are off Monday.

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