Observations: Quick notes from what we saw during Practice No. 6 of Auburn football fall camp
Highlights from Thursday include another look at a possible two-deep, a positional breakdown of the receivers, a fun note on Landen King and a major music change.
QB Zach Calzada (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
Thursday morning was the last scheduled open viewing window at practice for the next few days — it’s just player interviews Friday, then Saturday night’s scrimmage inside Jordan-Hare Stadium — so we’re back with another edition of quick Observations.
In case you missed our quick notes from Wednesday’s practice, check them out here. It’s a similar setup to Wednesday, as later today, we will talk to Auburn’s four defensive position coaches: Jimmy Brumbaugh, Christian Robinson, Roc Bellantoni and Zac Etheridge. Look for a newsletter from our time with them Friday morning, as well as a premium podcast episode.
The traditional opening act: 11-on-11 pace drill
If you’ve read any of the practice observations from so far in fall camp, you know what’s batting leadoff here. The 11-on-11 pace drill is the best chance to get a look at how the Tigers might view the first- and second-team offense and defense right now, and it’s the closest thing we see to “real football” outside of any potential scrimmage settings.
QB: Zach Calzada
RB: Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter
WR: Shedrick Jackson
WR: Malcolm Johnson Jr.
WR: Tar’Varish Dawson Jr.
TE: John Samuel Shenker
LT: Kilian Zierer
LG: Brandon Council
C: Nick Brahms
RG: Kameron Stutts
RT: Austin Troxell
This is mostly the same first-team offense we saw on Wednesday, but with a few notable exceptions. First, Auburn rotated its top two running backs during the drill. Additionally, Zach Calzada was the first-team quarterback, and John Samuel Shenker was back at first-team tight end.
Also: Offensive line coach Will Friend shared Wednesday afternoon that Keiondre Jones, the returning starter at right guard, “got banged up” early in camp and was out for a few days earlier this week. He was back in a limited capacity Wednesday, and the Tigers hope to get him back to full speed soon. That explains the shakeup on the interior, with Kameron Stutts lining up on the right side.
EDGE: Derick Hall
EDGE: Eku Leota
DT: Colby Wooden
DT: Marcus Harris
LB: Owen Pappoe
LB: Cam Riley
CB: Nehemiah Pritchett
CB: Jaylin Simpson
NB: Donovan Kaufman
S: Zion Puckett
S: Cayden Bridges
This is the exact same first-team defense we saw Wednesday, and it’s starting to be the norm during these practices. The highlight for the first-team defense in the pace drill came when Cayden Bridges had a nice pass breakup on a throw to Malcolm Johnson Jr. over the middle of the field.