Auburn football: Tigers get a fresh start following spring break

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss all the ways new, current and former Tigers got a fresh start this week. 

It’s officially spring 

If you looked at your calendar Monday, you may have noticed it was the first day of spring.

In Auburn, it felt more like summer. But the blue skies and rising temperatures indicate only good things in the Auburn Athletics Complex. Football is back in action today while spring sports continue.

A return from spring break is like a fresh start. It’s also a new beginning for Steven Leath, who was named Auburn’s 19th president. Leath comes from Iowa State and was chosen to replace Jay Gogue at the end of a six-month search.

Leath seems like a perfect fit for Auburn, seeing as Iowa State has been recognized as a top research institution with a strong presence in science and technology. When he was in charge in Ames, Iowa State’s research expenditures grew while its student debt shrunk. And the university received its largest private gift for an academic facility.

Gus Malzahn’s Tigers are back in action later Tuesday. Practice will include a 15-minute media viewing period, so make sure you’re following @SECCountryAuburn for all of the updates and news.

That might mean it’s time for everyone to get back to work, but Kerryon Johnson helped us out with the best way to describe that feeling.

Grandpa’s debut 

Former Auburn Tigers David Ross is back in the spotlight this spring, too.

The World Series champ made his first appearance on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on Monday night. And he shined — not just because of his blinded-out uniform.

Ross teamed up with Lindsay Arnold to bring to life a dazzling number honoring, who else, but the Chicago Cubs?

It really was a home run. See for yourself.

As expected, Ross’ Chicago Cubbies made a brief appearance to show their support for their favorite veteran catcher. The fandom was completed with T-shirts and gear strictly for the performance.

Ross may have impressed with his footwork, but the reactions of his former teammates may have eclipsed his dance moves. Try to watch this clip of Anthony Rizzo giggling without laughing.


Happening on the Plains 

More gymnastics, please 

No. 21 Auburn traveled to the SEC Gymnastics Championships in Jacksonville, Fla., and scored a season-high 196.550. But these women aren’t done yet.

The Tigers secured a berth to the NCAA postseason and will compete as the fourth seed in the Fayetteville Regional on April 1.

Other teams headed to Razorback country include Utah, Denver, California, Central Michigan and, of course, Arkansas.

In case you were wondering how it all works, the two top teams from each of the six NCAA regionals will then advance to St. Louis in mid-April.

Monday morning baseball 

Auburn baseball moved into the top 20 after sweeping No. 5 Florida at Plainsman Park over the weekend.

That important series win (It was the first time in 30 years Auburn swept the Gators.) was largely because of Will Holland, who was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday morning.

Holland made four starts and batted .400. The second baseman homered, tripled scored a trio of runs and knocked in four on the week. He also was perfect in the field through four games and totaled 13 assists while helping record six double plays.

Auburn takes on Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT in Atlanta.

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