War Eagle Extra

Auburn Spring Practice Cheat Sheet: Week 3

Auburn quarterback John Franklin III waits for the snap at spring practice on March 22, 2016.
Auburn quarterback John Franklin III waits for the snap at spring practice on March 22, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn had an important week of practice with the team holding its first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday. The quarterback competition has dominated much of the discussion with fans eager to hear how junior college transfer John Franklin is performing.

Here’s a recap of the week…

Leadership qualities

Wide receiver Tony Stevens explained how Franklin quickly won over his teammates upon arriving on campus in January. Franklin texted his receivers to set up a throwing session before being properly introduced to some of his new teammates. Stevens still isn’t sure how Franklin managed to get all the phone numbers.

Friendly foes

Auburn defensive backs Stephen Roberts and Jamel Dean identified John Broussard Jr. as a freshman to watch. Roberts shared memories of facing Broussard in high school when the Central alum was just a sophomore to help explain why. Roberts played quarterback for Opelika and found out the hard way just how talented Broussard was.

Game day

Auburn held a 100-play scrimmage Saturday with SEC officials on hand to simulate game situations. The quarterbacks were put to the test facing live defenses for the first time this spring. Coach Gus Malzahn viewed the practice as important step in the quarterback competition between Franklin, Jeremy Johnson and Sean White.

Position by position

  • Quarterback — Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee talked about the quarterback competition for the first time this spring Tuesday. He stressed the importance of Franklin continuing to add weight to his slim 174-pound frame. Lashlee also touched on the positive demeanor carrying Jeremy Johnson through spring as he attempts to rebound from a disappointing junior season.
  • Offensive line — Austin Golson is one of Auburn’s projected starters on the offensive line that is repping at multiple positions. During an open viewing period at Tuesday’s practice, Golson was seen taking reps with the first team at tackle. “You’re always thinking about developing depth,” coach Gus Malzahn said of the strategy.
  • Defensive back — Saturday’s scrimmage was a significant one for defensive back Jamel Dean. After suffering a second significant knee injury at the end of his senior year in high school, Dean thought his career was over when Ohio State’s doctors wouldn’t clear him. A second opinion from Dr. James Andrews gave the Dean a second shot at fulfilling his football dreams. Dean sat out last season as a transfer and the scrimmage was the first time he faced live competition in a long time.

Bits and pieces

Safety Rudy Ford practiced for the first time this spring on Tuesday….defensive back Josh Holsey was also back at practice for the first time since tearing his ACL in week two against Jacksonville State…fullback Kamryn Pettway missed Saturday’s practice with a hamstring injury…Jeremy Johnson hit Roc Thomas for a touchdown during Auburn’s scrimmage Saturday…the longest play from scrimmage was a 70-plus yard run from Franklin…the quarterbacks didn’t throw any interceptions during the scrimmage, but lost multiple fumbles

Eye on the Tigers

Photo Gallery: Auburn football team practices for sixth time this spring