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Auburn Spring Practice Cheat Sheet: Week 4

Auburn wide receiver Ryan Davis, No. 83, runs with the football at spring practice on Saturday, April 2, 2016.
Auburn wide receiver Ryan Davis, No. 83, runs with the football at spring practice on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Auburn Athletics

Auburn is down to four practices this spring including A-Day. The team held its second scrimmage in as many weeks Saturday with the coaches focusing on giving reps to the second and third team.

Coach Gus Malzahn also made his position coaches available to the media this week for the first time this spring. With the many new offseason hires, it was the first time most of the staff talked to the local media.

Here’s a recap of the week…

Surprise frontrunner

The early frontrunner this spring for the vacant left tackle position was Texas transfer Darius James, but a surprise name surfaced this week in the competition to replace Shon Coleman — last year’s starting center Austin Golson. During Auburn’s open viewing window Tuesday, Golson took first team reps and spent much of the week taking snaps at the spot. Xavier Dampeer is working with the first team at center in Golson’s place.

Engaged teammate

Auburn running back Jovon Robinson isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Last week, the candid senior to be told the media he intends to be the program’s next 1,000-yard rusher. Running backs coach Tim Horton isn’t worried about Robinson’s confident persona as long as the rusher continues to show the maturity he’s displayed during spring camp.

Lofty goals

Auburn defensive back Carlton Davis laid out the defense’s goals for this fall after Saturday’s scrimmage. The standout freshman All-SEC corner expects his team to hold opponents to 14 points or less this season and plans to put on a show for fans.

Position by position

  • Quarterback — One of the goals of Auburn’s second scrimmage was to get more film on John Franklin III going against a live defense. Jeremy Johnson and Sean White were in orange non-contact jerseys during the practice, but Malzahn put Franklin through another important test.
  • Running back — Auburn’s concern over the team’s depth at the running back position is giving Kamryn Pettway and Chandler Cox an opportunity this spring to show what they are capable carrying the ball. “They've kind of been doing both jobs, at H-back and tailback. There was a lot of focus on giving those guys a lot of reps and seeing what they could do,” Malzahn said.
  • Wide receiver — Coach Malzahn doesn’t single out players very often, but he offered high praise for sophomore Ryan Davis Saturday. “Davis is a guy that’s really you can tell has taken that next step,” Malzahn said. He added that the receiver is “quick as a cat.” Davis said the coaches have worked hard to get the ball in his hands this spring.
  • Defensive line — Early enrollee Marlon Davidson has caught the coaching staff’s eye this spring. He’s rotated in with the first team line and shown he has the physicality to match-up. The true freshman still has a ways to go, but he will be in the discussion when it comes time to decide the team’s depth chart for fall camp.

Auburn defensive back Carlton Davis explained what the defense's goals are for the fall following practice Saturday, April 2, 2016.

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