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Spring Practice 2011 - Day 12


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Recapping stories from Day 12 of spring practice...


Auburn’s A-Day format has been decided: it’ll be offense vs. defense when the Tigers hold their spring game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.

Head coach Gene Chizik confirmed the format after Wednesday’s practice, saying each side can score points with big plays, first downs, defensive stops, etc., just like the team has scored its scrimmages throughout the spring.

Auburn did an offense/defense format in Chizik’s first year with the school but split into two teams last spring.

The team’s low number of players on the spring roster limited their options for a format this year.

“We really don’t have a choice to cross over and have teams right now,” Chizik said.”

Read more from AB: http://www.wareagleextra.com/

Jawara White’s career nearly ended before it began

So we knew that LB Jawara White had been held out of contact drills (hence him wearing an orange jersey this fall) and there was talk that he’d undergone surgery as well. Today, we learned The Real Story.

White suffered a mild concussion last fall and underwent an MRI scan as a precaution.

The scan extends a low as the C4 vertebra. Though doctors found nothing of note in the brain cavity, the MRI showed excess fluid in White’s spinal cord. Additional tests revealed that the freshman from Troy suffers from syringomyelia, which is a serious and potentially debilitating problem. Excess fluid in the spinal cord, over time, forces compression of nerve fibers and arteries. That will lead to numbness and paralysis if left undiagnosed/untreated.

White said he underwent surgery in September to relieve the fluid buildup.

After several months of rehabilitation, he is able to engage in almost all physical activities. Still, he has not been cleared for contact — keep in mind that surgery was six or seven months ago — and doesn’t expect that to happen until late summer.

Read more from JGT: http://madvertiserblogs.com/HABOTN/2011/04/13/jawara-whites-career-nearly-ended-before-it-began/

Who knew about Rah Rah? Crazy.

...At the other linebacker spots, Jake Holland said he's working in front of Eltoro Freeman and Jake Westrich in the middle, and Jonathan Evans is working at weakside. Holland is pumped for the opportunity to start: "The opportunity is there - it’s mine to lose. Getting out there and just trying to take over that leadership role that Josh (Bynes) was so good at. I definitely learned from a pretty good veteran who had been there for a long time. Now it’s my turn to take over and I feel like I can do a pretty good job at it."

Abrupt switch to the defensive line! Mike Pelton said guys like Derrick Lykes and Jamar Travis will have an important role in filling out depth on the defensive line, but so will incoming freshmen who aren't even here yet: "We’ve got some freshmen sitting at home right now that are probably going to factor in to what we do this fall. I’m on the phone to those guys communicating how important it’s going to be to come in here with the mindset of, ‘How can I help the team?'"

Pelton mentioned Columbus (Ga.) High prospect Gabe Wright by name, saying he's been around watching practice this spring and will probably be in a position to help out come fall. But it's hard to say how the line will look so early in the game: "You can’t really make a change until you get the whole group together."

Speaking of depth, Pelton had some guardedly optimistic words about backup ends Justin Delaine and Joel Bonomolo: "Joel’s a work in progress. And Justin is too. The thing with those guys is they’re really raw when it comes to their technique. The effort is there, it’s just they haven’t done it in a structured environment. Justin Delaine is a guy that’s probably very intriguing to me, because he’s so big and he runs so fast. And Joel, I refer to Joel as a power line on the ground: He has a lot of energy that’s going everywhere. I’m just trying to get him to funnel that energy in one direction and just buy into what we’re teaching him on defense. He’s one of those guys making progress this spring. But I don’t want to say progress as us being good, because we’re nowhere close to where we need to be."

As for starters, Pelton said he's getting about what he expected out of Eguae in terms of play and leadership. Corey Lemonier, on the other hand, has been a pleasant surprise: "He’s really been stepping his game up and really being vocal. I’ve noticed he’s a little bit more in the huddle, trying to get the group on the right page. "

Read more from DM: http://www2.oanow.com/blogs/aublog/2011/apr/13/au-notes-day-aint-nothing-practice-story-ar-1711920/

Very interesting comments about Bonomolo. I never realized he was that raw coming out of JUCO. Knew that about Delaine, just not Bonomolo.

And don't forget to pick up this pretty cool free A-Day poster Saturday...



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