Just hours after the Auburn veterans took to the training ground for the first day of fall camp, the Tigers’ rookies – newcomers and a few less experienced returning plays – entered the field athletics complex training ground for their first round of pre-season training.
As with the morning session, local media were treated to an observation window on the afternoon session of the first day of fall camp. Reporters were allowed to watch around 15 minutes of afternoon training – a condensed window from the morning – which gave a first look at many of the squad’s new additions, as well as progress made by some reserves seeking to take on larger roles. this autumn.
Learn more about Auburn football: Observations from the Auburn veterans’ first practice at fall camp
There wasn’t much to glean from the first afternoon of practice, but here are some of AL.com’s observations from the rookie session:
–With TJ Finley and Zach Calzada in the morning session, Oregon transfer Robby Ashford and first-time registrant Holden Geriner split quarterback reps Friday afternoon. Ashford, who earned A-Day MVP honors in the spring, still has a live arm and throws a nice deep ball. He and Geriner both struggled with accuracy during the brief viewing window, with Geriner throwing a few passes behind receivers in the middle and Ashford navigating a deep ball to Miami transfer Dazalin Worsham.
– One of those Geriner passes that was thrown behind his receiver was to converted tight end Landen King, who landed an impressive hold on his back hip while in coverage. King continues to look more comfortable and fluid at receiver after stepping down as a full-time tight end.
“I think now that he’s crossed that bridge, like, ‘You know what? I’m doing this receiver thing, we’re going to be able to use it a lot in different ways,’ offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau said Thursday. “We “We can create lags because he’s so big, so athletic, he can run and he has good hands. We have to be able to move him around and play different places so we can create those lags.
–Among those working at wide receiver in the afternoon alongside King were Worsham and the Tigers’ three 2022 signings at the position: Jay Fair (a spring registrant), Camden Brown and Omari Kelly. Brown certainly looks like an SEC wide receiver, and it’s easy to see why he received early recognition from his veteran teammates. At 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds, Brown is one of the biggest receivers on the roster (only King, at 6-foot-5, and Ze’Vian Capers at 6-foot-4 are taller), and he flashed some of his abilities during Friday’s session.
He made the game out of the viewing window during one-on-one drills, outplaying JUCO transfer cornerback Keionte Scott for a hold near the sideline. Brown’s take drew praise from defensive backs coach Zac Etheridge, who bellowed, “I see you, 1-7,” referring to Brown’s jersey number, 17. “Play big!”
“Big dude – strong too,” senior receiver Shedrick Jackson said Friday. “He did, like, he did 225. I can’t remember how many reps. He’s done a lot, so he’s a strong guy.
– Speaking of Scott, the transfer from JUCO – which was the best junior college corner in the country last season – was working with newcomers after arriving on campus just days ago. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can acclimate and how he factors into Auburn’s secondary this season.
–Joko Willis, who spent last season at linebacker, was the only Purse defenseman to work with Roc Bellantoni on Friday afternoon. Defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding confirmed Thursday that Willis, who was used on special teams and some blitz packages last season, is now working in a hybrid role at the point.
– Jeremiah Wright was back at defensive tackle, as Bryan Harsin said Thursday. During a Friday afternoon rehearsal, the 6-foot-5, 332-pound nose tackle got the better of center Jalil Irvin, crossing him at the line of scrimmage.
Tom Green is an Auburn Beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.