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WR corps shines in spring game

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‘A lot of talent’: Auburn WR corps shines in spring game

Greg Ostendorf

AUBURN, Ala. – It's not September yet. There wasn't a full house in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. But the spring game still means something. Just ask wide receivers Seth Williams and Matthew Hill, who didn't have the opportunity to play in it last year because they were still in high school. 

Williams continued to build off an impressive freshman season as he caught four passes for a team-high 103 yards and two touchdowns. 

We're playing the game we love," Williams said. "It's football. Once you get on the field, everything goes out the door and you're just playing the game that you grew up playing since you were little."

The 6-foot-3, 224-pound wide receiver, who was later given the Lionel James Offensive MVP Award, put his size and athleticism on full display Saturday. He caught one touchdown over the top of his defender on a simple corner route. On the other touchdown, a 29-yard grab, he jumped in between two defensive backs and caught the ball at its highest point in the end zone.

In this league you have to (have a big target like Williams)," Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. "Because you're going to get some 1-on-1 opportunities. A lot of times they're going to roll an extra safety down, and you've got to win. You've got to have somebody that can win on the outside. It was good to see Seth make some of those plays."

Unlike Williams, Hill didn't play a full season last fall. The freshman only played in four games to keep his redshirt and failed to catch a pass. So the 41-yard touchdown reception he made in the first quarter Saturday – a tough over-the-shoulder grab at the goal line – was the first time fans had seen him make a catch in an Auburn uniform. 

Later in the first half, Hill got behind the defender and hauled in a 49-yard reception for his second touchdown of the game. He finished with three catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. 

"It felt phenomenal," Hill said. "This is really my first real football since my last high school game my senior year. So now that I'm getting back into things, it's just going to get better from here."

"He's a guy we had high expectations for when we recruited him," added Malzahn. "So that was real good to see him make some plays in front of the crowd. He has had a very solid spring. He's a guy that has the chance to make big plays. It was a great catch he made over his shoulder on that first one, and then on the tunnel screen, you see he has a little bit of acceleration. He's got a chance to be a really good player for us."

Fellow wide receiver Eli Stove also had a big day Saturday after missing last year's spring game due to injury. The junior, fully healthy this spring, caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. 

The spring game showed why Auburn is optimistic about the offense this coming season despite not knowing who the starting quarterback will be. Regardless of who wins the job, they will have a group of receivers that includes the likes of Williams, Hill, Stove, Anthony SchwartzSal CannellaMarquis McClain and Will Hastings to name a few. Schwartz and Hastings didn't even play Saturday.

"It's the whole receiving corps," Williams said. "It's not one of us. It's not two of us. It's not three of us. It's the whole group. We're all going to put up numbers this year."

"All of our receivers now have different abilities," added Hill. "There's a lot to improve on, but there's also a lot of talent. Once we get to where we want to be at, we're going to be the best receiving corps in the nation."

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I believe he’s right too! Think about the talent of wrs and two really high ceiling qbs, and anything can happen with that setup. War Eagle 🦅 

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Because of the talent at WR, I would scheme more towards a strong passing game with a complimentary run game

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and there were folks like the beard saying the wr corps were bad this spring as well as the announcers covering auburns a day game. so was someone putting out bad info or did the light just come on quick for our receivers? this is why i refuse to pay for info concerning practice.

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8 hours ago, bigbird said:

Because of the talent at WR, I would scheme more towards a strong passing game with a complimentary run game

Or just be great at both. Clemson was

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9 hours ago, Sizzle said:

Or just be great at both. Clemson was

I think that in most cases, scheming to your primary strength makes your secondary strength look a lot better. I don't know if that was the case with Clemson last year but I can't imagine that anybody stacked the box on them all season. 

If Gus can make opponents defend the entire field, then our run game will magically look a lot better. 

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17 hours ago, bigbird said:

Because of the talent at WR, I would scheme more towards a strong passing game with a complimentary run game

Pretty amazing what a talented receiving corps and an accurate quarterback can do these days. Clemson was a lot of fun to watch last year. 

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16 minutes ago, Barnacle said:

Pretty amazing what a talented receiving corps and an accurate quarterback can do these days. Clemson was a lot of fun to watch last year. 

Have very rarely seen a show like what Lawrence and Ross put on in the championship game. Man. 

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20 hours ago, bigbird said:

Because of the talent at WR, I would scheme more towards a strong passing game with a complimentary run game

I suppose it depends on who does the scheming.  I would think Dilly would scheme it this way,  but when does the Veto happen from Gus? 

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16 minutes ago, AUBwins said:

I suppose it depends on who does the scheming.  I would think Dilly would scheme it this way,  but when does the Veto happen from Gus? 

CGM is calling plays on game day so I imagine it would be CGM scheming! Hopefully with input from Dilly dilly.

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3 hours ago, McLoofus said:

Have very rarely seen a show like what Lawrence and Ross put on in the championship game. Man. 

And Bo and Seth can be the next duo to do it...Or Joey for the matter.

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22 hours ago, bigbird said:

Because of the talent at WR, I would scheme more towards a strong passing game with a complimentary run game

I feel like I heard this once or twice last year...

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51 minutes ago, Zeek said:

I feel like I heard this once or twice last year...

Probably, but in retrospect, last year I should've said, "with this OL, I'd just quick kick"

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15 hours ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

I don’t think it’s fair to Clemson to compare their OL or offensive staff to ours 

I wasn't. I just said you can be good at both. It doesn't have to be one or the other

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15 hours ago, Sizzle said:

I wasn't. I just said you can be good at both. It doesn't have to be one or the other

Oh yeah ofc u can, It just hasn't been in the realm of reality for this program in...a while

If the OLine pans out and Joey has the deep ball on him like back when, then it's more possible 

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17 hours ago, bigbird said:

Probably, but in retrospect, last year I should've said, "with this OL, I'd just quick kick"

Man. Cam could even pooch punt at a Heisman level. 

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