AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has been searching for a third wide receiver to complement starters Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery.
Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor mentioned Travante Stallworth and Quindarius Carr as two players who have been making plays in practice recently.
Stallworth, a 5-foot-9, 183-pound true freshman, has only two catches for 21 yards this year but has caught Taylor’s eye.
“He actually got to break the huddle down today because of his plays that he made, so that was encouraging,” Taylor said. “Coach (Gus) Malzahn picks out a guy based on his practice habits and what he’s done and the number of plays he’s made. ... It’s like an attaboy, basically, and he doesn’t give out too many attaboys.”
Carr, a 6-foot-1, 181-pound sophomore, only has one catch for 32 yards — a deep pass he caught against Arkansas — but quarterback Chris Todd targeted him again on a deep pass that fell incomplete against Kentucky last week.
Adams and Zachery have combined for 47 catches, 797 yards and nine touchdowns this year. The other wide receivers on the roster have six catches for 109 yards.
Reserve defensive lineman Zach Clayton continues to make progress from an ankle injury suffered earlier this year, but Auburn coach Gene Chizik did not know if the sophomore would be ready to play at LSU on Saturday.
“He’s to the point where I think he’s getting over the hump, working toward being able to play,” Chizik said.
Clayton missed the opener before returning for games against Mississippi State, Ball State and West Virginia. He made six tackles in those games, one of which was for a loss.
He has not dressed in any of Auburn’s last three games.
Injured safety Mike McNeil is still not ready to return to action and appears to be approaching the drop dead date for playing this season.
The junior broke his leg last spring and hasn’t played in a game since. He did not redshirt either of his first two seasons, leaving that as an option.
“Redshirting is still on the table, and him and I have had some good conversations,” Chizik said. “We’re going to play it by ear. ... We don’t want to put a guy out there, especially at these skill positions where you put a guy out there and he’s 75, 80 percent, you’re not going to get what you need anyway to help our team win.”
Freshman Daren Bates has started in McNeil’s place and is fifth on the team in tackles with 38.