AUBURN, Ala. — Reporters were permitted to view approximately 20 minutes of practice on Tuesday, which marked the first session of the spring for Auburn.
Defensive end Carl Lawson took part in today's practice and looked no worse for the wear. The rising junior, who sat out last season while rehabbing from surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was wearing a brace on his left knee. He originally returned to the field during the Tigers' bowl practices in December. But then, like now, he's being brought along slowly.
Jason Smith, the junior college transfer the coaching staff has said will compete for the starting quarterback job, indeed was with his position group when reporters first arrived at practice. But once they broke into smaller positional drills, Smith took off. He was part of a trio of players returning punts, along with receivers Marcus Davis and Gray King.
DaVonte Lambert, who won't take part this spring while he continues to work his way back from a knee surgery, obviously didn't do anything other than stand around and watch his fellow linemen today. But there was a tidbit of news about the rising senior: he's changed his number. Last year, he wore No. 86. Today, he was sporting No. 6 — the same digit as quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
Two other defensive linemen joined Lambert in sitting out during the open media portion: Gimel President and Elijah Daniel.
Auburn had three players working at kick return: receiver Stanton Truitt and running backs Peyton Barber and Jovon Robinson.
Former Central quarterback Jonathan Wallace did not don the orange jersey that helps the Tigers' signal-callers stand out from their teammates at practice. While it might be too early to jump to conclusions, this might mean the coaching staff has decided to move Wallace to receiver full-time, which had been hinted at as the Tigers prepared for the Outback Bowl.
Alex Kozan missed the 2014 season after having surgery on his back last summer. Though he's supposed to be limited this spring as he works his way back to full health, nothing seemed amiss Tuesday, as he was moving around with no signs of distress.
Former offensive linemen Reese Dismukes, Chad Slade and Patrick Miller were observers today, getting to enjoy watching practice instead of actually exerting themselves. All three have entered the NFL draft; Dismukes and Slade graduated while Miller declared with one year of eligibility remaining.
Auburn's updated roster for the spring included the numbers the Tigers' seven early enrollees will wear.
They are as follows: the aforementioned Smith (No. 4) and Robinson (No. 29); quarterback Tyler Queen (No. 15); defensive back Tim Irvin (No. 22), fullback Chandler Cox (No. 27); offensive linemen Bailey Sharp (No. 66) and Tyler Carr (No. 67); and defensive tackle Maurice Swain (No. 90).