Late night Auburn notes: Back from despair, Clint Moseley fully accepting backup role

abitter@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 30, 2011 

— Clint Moseley said it took about two days.

Two days of nothing. Not anger. Not sadness. Just … blank.

“I was just like … here,” the sophomore said of his mindset after finding out he’d be the backup quarterback Aug. 18. ”I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t grasp anything. I was just really confused, really just blank. Like I said. I had no emotion.”

Now, Moseley said he’s moved on, accepting his backup role and going about his business to be the best backup he can be.

“It came to a point where I can’t not give 100 percent,” Moseley said. “If I’m going to be the backup, I’ve got to be the backup. It’s important.”

Moseley, who admitted to throwing “pity parties” for himself early in his Auburn career, talked with his parents and other people he trusted to figure out what he should do.

He finally pulled himself out of his daze and got back to work on the practice field, knowing he’s a play away from getting in the game.

“I really do have to prepare to be a starter,” he said. “And have to convince myself that I am a starter, which is pretty hard to do, but not impossible.”

Moseley said he’s taking this season before figuring things out afterward. Looking long-term, he said he’d like to get his degree from Auburn.

“I don’t want to make any childish, foolish decisions in the heat of the moment,” he said.

He said he and Trotter, after a cooling off period, remain good friends.

“I called up Barrett, told him I’d accept it,” Moseley said. “He is my best friend no matter what. We’re great. Nothing’s really changed … off the field.”

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Here are some more notes and quotes from Tuesday night’s brief set of interviews:

* Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said Auburn has pretty much known its depth chart for a while. They key this week is getting very specific with personnel in certain formations. “The unique thing about a first game is you’ve got to be ready to make adjustments because you think you have an idea of what you’re going to get,” Malzahn said, “but until you actually get there, usually well into the first quarter, you’ve got to be able to adjust too.”

* How many carries will Tre Mason get as the third running back? Malzahn didn’t make it sound like a ton. “He’s behind Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb and those two will definitely get their carries,” he said.

* Regarding Dyer and McCalebb, Malzahn has a certain comfort with those two. “I think as the offensive coordinator you’re comfortable with the guys you have information on, that you know how they’re going to react, whether good, bad or in between,” he said.

* That’s not to say Malzahn has total comfort. He used the word “anxiety” quite a bit in his short interview. I can imagine going into a game with so many inexperienced players is nerve-wracking for a coach.

* How do the young guys get used to the game speed? “They have to buckle up,” Malzahn said. “They just have to get it done. We recruited those guys and we told them we were willing to play true freshmen, and those guys have to be ready. We’re going to throw them in there and see what happens and we’ll stick with the ones that have the right attitude and handle the right situations and try to get better.”

* Malzahn didn’t quite close the door on senior RT A.J. Greene, who is a backup to redshirt freshman Chad Slade. Greene still isn’t 100 percent back from last year’s broken leg. “He’s not 100 percent but you see him getting better and better,” Malzahn said. “He’s going to be a factor. There’s no doubt. We’re going to need his help before the year is out.

* Freshman Brandon Fulse is adjusting to the H-back spot after being mostly a tight end in high school. He’s adjusting to the college level too. “I’m coming to the SEC where they say it’s a man’s sport and now after a month I’m really seeing that,” he said. “It takes a man to be in the SEC. To be an H-back you have to be very tough.”

* Fulse said the speed is the biggest adjustment. “The first week I got here Dee Ford just ran right past me,” he said. He thinks by the third game, he’ll be all caught up.

* Fulse is from Fort Meade, Fla., the same town as McCalebb. They go way back. “Being reunited with him is good,” Fulse said. “He’s taken me under his wing, showing me everything, the ends and outs of the game.

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