Auburn Football

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn watches the offense during practice on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.

Todd Van Emst/

Auburn’s coaches evaluate players at every one of the team’s practices. But Monday, head coach Gus Malzahn said, is when they will “really be able to evaluate at the highest level.”

Two days after their first day in full pads, the Tigers will hold their first scrimmage of the fall Monday morning inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. And the plan is to run “a lot” of plays.

“It's going to be a big one,” Malzahn said. “We're going to let everybody get their chance and show what they can do.”

The scrimmage will provide Auburn the first chance to put its biggest camp position battles — quarterback, third running back, offensive line, defensive line, secondary depth and punter among them — through real game situations.

It also gives the Tigers’ newcomers a chance to prove their worth as potential contributors, even in their debut seasons. Running back Devan Barrett, wide receiver Noah Igbinoghene, left tackle Calvin Ashley are some of the true freshmen who have been talked about often this fall and have a chance to help themselves the most on Monday.

“That's what I just told them; 'Hey, from a coaches' standpoint, we go out to that stadium and it's a scrimmage, it means more,’” Malzahn said. “We learn more about the young guys in the first day of full pads and we’ll learn twice as much in the scrimmage. We’re just trying to get those guys ready, especially guys that are talented enough to help.”

One thing you should not expect, though, is for Auburn to come out of the first scrimmage with a decision made about who will be the starting quarterback. That goes for most other positions, too; Malzahn has pointed to the two-week mark of camp, which would be a week from Monday after what should be the team’s second scrimmage on Saturday, as the point when Auburn would like to start settling on some answers.

“I think they've all had a solid first week,” Malzahn said of quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham, Sean White and Malik Willis. “We've thrown the ball quite a bit. We've thrown the ball probably even more in individual too and I think all their arms are holding up. Good competition. I think right now probably the best way to put it is all three I feel like can run our offense.

“The scrimmages are going to mean something, there’s no doubt. They are important. They are important to every position, but I’m not ready to say anything as far as making decisions after the first scrimmage.”