War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Post-practice update: PPL still on the team

AUBURN, Ala. — Wide receiver Philip Pierre-Louis is not currently on Auburn's roster, but head coach Gene Chizik stressed that the redshirt freshman is still on the team and will be back once school starts.

Pierre-Louis, whose status with the team was a matter of debate during the summer, was a noticeable omission from the roster supplied by Auburn sports information Wednesday.

Although the receiver missed last year after tearing his ACL and was limited in the spring, Chizik said the absence is not injury-related. He declined to give further specifics.

Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said Pierre-Louis has "some personal things that he's dealing with" and hopes Pierre-Louis might be able to return sooner than expected.

A favorite of former offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, the diminutive Pierre-Louis was expected to be a big part of Auburn's offense last season before a knee injury on the opening kickoff against Louisiana-Monroe forced him to miss the entire year.

Chizik did confirm that walk-on tailback Justin Albert is no longer with the team.

Other news and notes to come out of Wednesday's practice:
  • Two of the four players Auburn hoped would get approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse did not. Defensive lineman Terrance Coleman and defensive tackle Josh Jackson failed to qualify academically and will enroll in junior colleges this fall, Chizik said. "Obviously we wish them well," Chizik said. "They’re great kids with a great future. This is just kind of the direction they felt was best for themselves at this point." That makes five who didn't qualify from Auburn's 2009 recruiting class (DB Reggie Taylor, DB Izauea Lanier and WR LaVoyd James already got word). The Tigers are still waiting word on safety Daren Bates and junior college cornerback Taikwon Paige.
  • Interesting way of splitting practice today for Auburn, which is what I wrote my main story about. A veteran group went out on the practice field first (with a few notable exceptions that I mentioned in a previous post) before going to the weight room while a group made of mostly newcomers came out second. "I think everyone gets a lot more out of it," junior quarterback Neil Caudle said. "I think that for the older guys, we get more reps, more time with the coaches, get to move at a little faster pace since we've already done it before. For the younger guys, it's even better for them, because they get more one-on-one time with the coaches and actually get reps. Usually at this time during two-a-days, they'd be just having to watch."
  • Chris Todd was back and in good spirits (he'll be my story for Friday, so I don't want to put too much on here). He worked with the second practice group, getting to throw in front of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn for the first time. "It's nice to be back in the mix of things, because it's not any fun sitting around watching practice," Todd said. "I was really excited to do some stuff again and get back out there."
  • Malzahn on the timetable for making a decision on a starting quarterback: "You know, somewhere down the line, as soon as we possibly can. After we get the message, the information we need, we'd like to narrow it down to two and then you'd like to have a guy as soon as possible. We're a timing offense, I've said that before, and as soon as we can identify a guy that can start working with receivers that are going to be on the field, the better we'll get."
  • Malzahn said they'll go very slow for the freshman quarterbacks in the first week. "Of course the second week should separate people," he said.
  • Freshman Robert Cooper, a multi-purpose player who also plays quarterback, will start at tight end this year. "Robert’s a big kid who’s a really good athlete and can do a lot of different things," Chizik said. "We certainly need help at that position. That’s where we felt like starting out would be the best thing. He’s a great kid. He’ll do anything to help the team, so it’s really kind of a great move."
  • Taylor couldn't give any specific timetable for the return of WR Tim Hawthorne, who broke his foot this summer. "I’m going to leave that up to the doctors," he said.
  • Freshman WR Travante Stallworth on the difference of a college practice: "Everybody's the same speed here. In high school, you have that one or two key players. You're the best on your team and you can fly by everybody. Now I'm in the SEC and everybody is battling for position. They're all fast."
  • Freshman DE Nosa Eguae had similar thoughts: "It's full speed. In high school you can jog around some places, but everything on this level is full speed, so I've got to get better with that."

No comments: