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Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011

Auburn football notes: Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops not available for Tigers, staying with Seminoles

- jerickson@ledger-enquirer.com
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AUBURN, Ala.-- At least one of the names on Auburn’s short list for finding a new defensive coordinator appears to be unavailable.

Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, who reportedly had been one of Auburn’s top targets in the search to replace Ted Roof, has informed Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher that he plans to stay with the Seminoles, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Stoops, who led the Seminoles to the No. 6 ranking in total defense last year, had been mentioned as one of Auburn’s top targets, along with LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper and South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

But Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said Saturday that several names are still a part of the search.

“I’ve got several people that I’m considering,” Chizik said.

Asked about when he plans to make a hire to fill the open defensive coordinator position, Chizik reiterated that he has no timetable set.

“I feel like we’re in the right direction,” Chizik said. “It’s going to be a process that I’m going to make sure I’m going to hire the right person. There is no timeline.”

Trotter’s status

Barrett Trotter, the junior quarterback who started Auburn’s first seven games of the season before giving way to sophomore Clint Moseley, has been a part of bowl practices.

But Moseley and sophomore Kiehl Frazier have said that they are splitting repetitions 50-50 in bowl practices.

Chizik said Saturday that he and Trotter, who has not been made available for interviews this week, have talked about the quarterback’s future with the team. Trotter already has graduated with a degree in communications.

“We’ve talked on the surface about where he’s at,” Chizik said. “The details of that, I’m not going into it. We’ll talk more when the season ends.”

Paired together

Highly touted offensive linemen Greg Robinson and Christian Westerman have been mentioned as the future of Auburn’s offensive line, but both players redshirted this season.

Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes has said neither player was ready for action this season.

The two probably always will be linked. Robinson most often lines up at left tackle in practice, with Westerman next to him as the left guard.

“He’s fun to play next to, for sure,” Westerman said. “He’s really athletic for as big as he is. He moves like a tight end and he’s what, 315 (pounds)?”

Westerman and Robinson have been progressing rapidly since the middle of the season, Grimes said earlier this season.

“I like to get off the ball and be physical,” Westerman said. “Once I get that technique going, which I think has been getting better every day, I think I’ll be pretty dominant.”

Recruiting break

Auburn’s coaching staff has been on the road recruiting since the end of the regular season, but a break in the action began Saturday night.

Off-campus contact for the coaches ended at midnight Saturday night, and at midnight today, all contact between coaches and recruits is supposed to cease.

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