AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football opened its final full week of spring practice Tuesday afternoon, with quarterback drills and team special teams work taking most of the spotlight in the media’s viewing window.
The Tigers will hold their annual A-Day spring game this Saturday, and they focused on rounding out their special teams work during Day 12 of camp. Meanwhile, a high-caliber early enrollee showed a positive sign for his recovery from injury.
Here are SEC Country’s observations from the special teams-heavy 15-minute viewing window on Tuesday afternoon.
- True freshman linebacker K.J. Britt seems to be making good progress from his offseason knee injury. For the first time in the media viewing windows, Britt was not on crutches, and he didn’t have a brace on his knee. The former 4-star prospect will be a middle linebacker for the Tigers once he makes his full return from injury.
- True freshman defensive tackle Tashawn Manning did not participate in practice. Manning has a boot on an injured foot. Sophomore defensive back Raymond Lester was also out of pads.
- Any time Auburn’s quarterbacks do anything, Jarrett Stidham is the first one to take reps. In Tuesday afternoon’s viewing window, the work mostly focused on footwork and warm-up throws. Sean White (forearm), who won’t participate in A-Day, usually repped behind Stidham and Woody Barrett.
- But the best throws during the quarterback work came Malik Willis. A true freshman — one of the stars of spring practice — Willis had the best-looking zip on his passes.
- Most of the viewing window concentrated on special teams work.
- Punt returners: Stephen Roberts, Ryan Davis and Eli Stove — in that order. Each one took a live punt return rep toward the end of the window.
- Kick returners: Eli Stove, Kam Martin and Kerryon Johnson worked one at a time on catching simulated kickoffs.
- John Franklin III, Darius Slayton, Jason Smith and Marlon Character Jr. rotated as the top punt team gunners in drills.
- Paul James III (knee) and Nick Coe (leg) had to get some extra stretching in before a defensive line drill in the chutes.
- Recruits in attendance: 2018 DE Azeez Ojulari (Marietta, Ga.), 2018 OLB Quin Williams (Madison, Ga.), 2018 ATH Otis Reese (Michigan commitment from Leesburg, Ga.), 2019 OLB King Mwikuta (LaGrange, Ga.) and 2020 DE Andy Boykin (LaGrange, Ga.).
- Former Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah was in attendance. As usual, he was wearing a soccer jersey — an older away kit from his beloved Chelsea FC.