AUBURN, Ala. -- Despite reports saying he is transferring, linebacker Jessel Curry remains a member of the Auburn football team, coach Gene Chizik said Wednesday.
Curry, a sophomore, hasn’t participated this spring, sitting out while dealing with what Chizik termed “personal issues.”
“He’s enrolled in school,” Chizik said. “He’s not going through spring practice. But if any status of any of our players changes, I’ll definitely let you know.”
Several reports emerged Wednesday that the Buford, Ga., linebacker intended to transfer. But Curry, replying to a Facebook message Wednesday, wrote that Chizik’s statement was correct and that the coach would decide whether he would get back in good status with the team.
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Curry played in a reserve role in six games last year and made nine tackles before going on a late-season absence that the coaching staff never fully explained.
Chizik said Ryan Smith, a sophomore safety from Cordova, Ala., also is not practicing because of personal issues. He played in 14 games last year, mostly on special teams, and made three tackles.
“Conceptually the same thing,” Chizik said. “He’s working through some things. Again, if their status changes, I will let you know.”
Wide receiver Quindarius Carr has one last chance to prove he is more than just a deep threat.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior found a niche in Auburn’s offense last year. He caught three passes for 103 yards, a 34.3-yard average. Two of his three catches went for touchdowns against Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe.
“Coach (Gus) Malzahn always tells me I’ve got a deep part of my game, like good,” Carr said. “I just basically need to work on my short game and blocking.”
Carr is working at the “2” receiver spot vacated by Terrell Zachery (Emory Blake and DeAngelo Benton are working at the “9” where Darvin Adams used to be). Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said he would like to see Carr be “across-the-board solid.”
Carr, who’s been on the verge of playing time most of his career, thinks he spring has gone well.
“It’s been not-so-lucky sometimes I guess, just being a role guy,” Carr said. “But now I feel like I’ve stepped in and made my statement on this team.”
Auburn diver Dan Mazzaferro and swimmer Erica Meissner were the recipients of the 2010-11 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
It’s the first time a school has swept the annual awards. The pair was chosen by a committee of faculty athletics representatives from SEC universities and will both receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Mazzaferro earned a degree in Chemistry in May 2010 and will earn his M.B.A. in December. He was the 2011 SEC champion in the 3-meter and platform diving events, a nine-time NCAA All-American and a U.S. Olympic diving finalist.
Meissner will earn here B.A. in Anthropology this summer. She was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist and earned NCAA All-America honors in 2008.
Auburn is off until Saturday, when it will have its second full-scale scrimmage of the spring. … The Tigers did a half-scrimmage Wednesday, using the other half of practice to clean up mistakes and technique issues. … Sophomore Ken Carter is working at the defensive tackle spot vacated by Nick Fairley. “When Nick got his feet on the ground, it was ‘go,’ ” Carter said. “I’m just trying to do the same thing.”