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Malik Miller & Paul James III Receive Medical Redshirts

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A pair of Auburn players were granted medical redshirts following injuries in 2016.

Running back Malik Miller and defensive end Paul James III both received medical redshirts, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Thursday at SEC Media Days in Hoover.

Miller appeared in three games as a freshman last season, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries before sustaining a knee injury during Week 5 against ULM that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Miller is in the mix to be Auburn's third running back behind Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson.

James saw time in three games along Auburn's defensive line and recorded three total tackles before injuring his knee in a "freak" incident during practice leading up to the LSU game. The injury required surgery and kept James out for the remainder of the season.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder returned this spring but struggled with mental hurdles for much of spring practice. He broke through on A-Day and earned defensive MVP honors after finishing with four total tackles, a sack and three tackles for a loss. 

http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2017/07/2_auburn_players_receive_medic.html

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That is great news. Especially for PJIII since his eligibility is expiring sooner.

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2 minutes ago, Tiger said:

That is great news. Especially for PJIII since his eligibility is expiring sooner.

Definitely rooting for him.. I expect big things.

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4 minutes ago, WFE12 said:

Definitely rooting for him.. I expect big things.

Would love to see him make some Dee Ford-esque plays for us this season!

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heck yeah... great news on both but especially for JPIII since he would have been out of time after this year without the redshirt. Really excited about what both these players bring to the team. Malik Miller seems like Peyton Barber 2.0. and i'll take more of those any day!

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Great to hear especially for PJIII. I for one am still not at all sold on Miller. I feel Miller is a FB forcing himself to be a RB. He isn't fast like KJ. He isn't a bruiser like Bubba. He reminds me a lot of Eric Smith. After Bubba, I feel Barrett will be our next superstar RB. He has franchise back written all over him. I just don't see it for Miller. He is a great kid. And I love every person who puts their body on the line for my Auburn, but that doesn't require me to look at things through Orange and Blue glasses. Miller just doesn't have the speed or power in my opinion. 

On a lighter note, it would be great to see PJIII take over the Lawson role and provide us with some pass rush. Since we have lost Lawson and Monte, I'm worried about how much pressure we can put on the QB. The incoming freshman TD Moultry has WORLDS of potential and has the look and gameplay of a superstar, but it's rare for a true freshman to provide that many snaps. Marlon showed last year it can be done, and Steele showed with Key at LSU he can turn a freshman pass rusher into a superstar, but I hope that role is given to PJIII.

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14 minutes ago, Auburn2Eugene said:

Great to hear especially for PJIII. I for one am still not at all sold on Miller. I feel Miller is a FB forcing himself to be a RB. He isn't fast like KJ. He isn't a bruiser like Bubba. He reminds me a lot of Eric Smith. After Bubba, I feel Barrett will be our next superstar RB. He has franchise back written all over him. I just don't see it for Miller. He is a great kid. And I love every person who puts their body on the line for my Auburn, but that doesn't require me to look at things through Orange and Blue glasses. Miller just doesn't have the speed or power in my opinion. 

On a lighter note, it would be great to see PJIII take over the Lawson role and provide us with some pass rush. Since we have lost Lawson and Monte, I'm worried about how much pressure we can put on the QB. The incoming freshman TD Moultry has WORLDS of potential and has the look and gameplay of a superstar, but it's rare for a true freshman to provide that many snaps. Marlon showed last year it can be done, and Steele showed with Key at LSU he can turn a freshman pass rusher into a superstar, but I hope that role is given to PJIII.

Oh my gosh...I didn't know key was at LSU when he coached there...Now I feel even better about TD coming in and being a big impact player.

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1 hour ago, WFE12 said:

Oh my gosh...I didn't know key was at LSU when he coached there...Now I feel even better about TD coming in and being a big impact player.

Yessir. The 1 season he was at LSU was the freshman season for Key.

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Let me start by saying I am not hating on anyone and I am happy for both of these young men.  However...  Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this?  This goes back to the redshirt rule in general.  Both of these young men did play in 3 games last year and they were granted a redshirt for that year because of injury.  But if they had not been injured and had not played in any more games would they have gotten to redshirt last year?  No.  This just shows the rules need to change.  Every player gets 5 years to play 4.  If you play less than 4 games then you can not count that year and still have 4 years.  Or something like that.  

:soapbox:

Stepping down now...

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They have talked about changing this rule a bunch so we will see. Glad for these kids! And I expect HUGE things from PJ3 this fall. 

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I hope Pettway and Johnson stays healthy all year. I think the only other RB we can call on is Kam Martin.

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8 hours ago, aufan57 said:

Watch out for PJ111 this year. Hearing good things. The mental hurdles during spring they talked about are being overblown. He was returning from an injury. We saw what he is capable of at Aday. As another coach in the SEC told Fine baum I believe that they think we have the best dline in the SEC even after losing Lawson amd Adams. I would bet money that quote came frm CWM. Talent across the board at dline.

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Could James be the key to Auburn's pass rush?

 
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Paul James was named A-Day MVP in April.
Bryan Matthews/AuburnSports.com

AUBURN | Paul James's performance during A-Day was a miracle.

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That's the way his position coach, Rodney Garner, sees it.

The defensive end missed most of last season after tearing a knee ligament. Surgery repaired the injury, but memories of the pain lingered. Every little twinge, even the slightest sensation, created an avalanche of concern that affected James' spirit. Playing scared is no way to thrive. In fact, Garner was ready to write off James' spring almost entirely.

Yet James was named A-Day Defensive MVP after registering three tackles for loss.

"Paul played better in the game than he did at practice," Garner said earlier this week during a speaking engagement in Mongomery. "He played more like what you thought you were going to get all spring. The kid had a noticeable limp."

James was a source of frustration throughout spring ball. He was signed out of an Arizona junior college largely because of his callous, angry attitude when on the field. Garner and former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp felt like James, a Miami native who began his career at Illinois, could provide some speed off the edge while also being able to hold his own as an edge-setter against the run.

In other words, he was an ideal candidate at the "Buck" position.

Just as James began to find his proverbial stride last fall, however, he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament a few days before Auburn's home game against LSU. That didn't wreck the Tigers' plan at Buck — Carl Lawson always was going to be the starter — but it forced Garner to play Jeff Holland as the primary backup before he was ready. It also left James in a state of arrested development.

James was cleared to practice in March, but he wasn't the same. He'd never before missed significant due to injury. His body always had been healthy. He trusted his body to be ready for the challenge — and then it wasn't.

Garner was skeptical because team trainers said the repaired knee was back to normal. All empirical data suggested James should be the difference-maker Auburn signed a year earlier, but doubt proved to be a problem. A-Day was an unexpected high point; James diagnosed the Tigers' read-option meshes with remarkable precision and had no trouble accelerating quickly enough to undermine things.

"It's a challenge every day because you have ups and downs," James said after the A-Day game. "The pain that I'm going through is just something I use to motivate myself."

James now is approaching the 10-month mark in his rehabilitation, which should allow him to enter fall camp July 31 with zero concerns about his knee. That's exactly what Garner needs; generating pass rush at Buck, particularly on first and second down, is crucial when it comes to keeping offenses out of a play-calling rhythm.

James must be the guy to create that pressure.

"He's got to really take ownership to just to make sure he has his body in the best shape it can be. Just because my knee starts feeling better, don't stop doing rehab," Garner said. "It's like the tire on a car — you put the retread on there, you've got to be very conscientious of it all the time. That initial first step, that burst, those are things that's critical to be able to get production off the edge. We've got to get better off the edge."

 

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I really like this kid! I hope he can continue to get comfortable with the process and take the next step!

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