Observations: What we saw and heard at the sixth practice of Auburn fall camp
The Tigers are looking for separation at linebacker and receiver — and that might be starting to form at the start of Week 2.
LB Austin Keys (Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics)
While Auburn prefers to practice outside — there are two full-length fields out there, after all — one of those East Alabama pop-up storms pushed the Tigers inside for the start of their second week of camp.
Media members were allowed to watch around a half-hour of practice again, which featured walkthroughs and reps against air for both the offense and the defense, along with special teams work.
This was the last viewing window before Saturday, when the Tigers head to Jordan-Hare Stadium for their first fall scrimmage.
The depth chart will start to take shape after this weekend, but it’s also looking like things are getting settled at a few positions with a little more than three weeks left until the season opener.
Here’s what we saw and heard at the start of Week 2 of fall camp, along with some notable quotes from a handful of players earlier this week.
LB Eugene Asante (Austin Perryman/Auburn Athletics)
Defense: Some separation starting to form at linebacker?
Earlier this week, Ron Roberts said inside linebacker had “pretty good competition,” but “nobody’s really stepped up and pulled away from the pack.”
That might be changing, as the go-to pairing with the first defense in drills has been Ole Miss transfer Austin Keys and former North Carolina transfer Eugene Asante.
Keys has been the most talked-about middle linebacker since he arrived on campus in the spring, and that hasn’t really changed in the fall. Asante is one of the bigger surprises of camp, going from a largely overlooked 2022 transfer who didn’t get on the field much to a potential starter on the weak side.
During the defensive walkthroughs that took up most of the viewing window Thursday morning, the Tigers split off into two groups — with players shadowing the first group in a wide variety of calls and checks. Redshirt freshman Robert Woodyard Jr. shadowed Keys, while North Texas transfer Larry Nixon III was behind Asante.
This gave us an updated look at, essentially, four different defensive units. It looks like the 1s and 3s were together, with the 2s and 4s on the other side. (We’ve seen this setup in camp already.)
Here are how they looked, followed by some observations on that side of the ball: