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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Newcomers ready for Auburn's first practice

We had a chance to speak with Auburn freshmen Trovon Reed, LaDarius Owens and Jeffrey Whitaker before the Tigers began practice Wednesday. Here's what they had to say:

Trovon Reed, WR
  • Reed played quarterback his final three years at Thibodaux (La.) High, so he's had to make an adjustment to receiver this summer. "You're used to having the ball in your hand on every play and now you have to work to get the ball so it's kind of hard," he said.
  • On Auburn: "Auburn is not what I expected. It's better than what I expected. I done saw things that I didn't see during recruiting that I really like about Auburn."
  • He's working behind Terrell Zachery at the "2" receiver position.
  • Does he's ready to play right away? "Mentally, I think I am. Physically, I think I am. It's about you won't know until gametime. If you freeze up on game day, that's it."
  • He expects to be in the mix at both kick and punt return. It's something he did throughout high school. "They said it's up to me," he said.
  • On nerves heading into practice: "I'm nervous but it's too late to get nervous. You've got to be ready. This is the time they talk about in recruiting when they say you have to step up. This is the time I have to step up."
  • Reed found out early that college isn't like high school -- in the class room. "My first day, I was waiting for the bell to ring," he said. "When I saw everyone walk up and get out and was like 'Where they going?' It was a big adjustment for me."
LaDarius Owens, LB
  • He's been at Auburn since May. "We probably got a jump on the other freshmen as far as conditioning and weight-lifting and all that," he said.
  • On the anticipation for his first college practice: "I’m kind of excited. I really haven’t felt the butterflies yet. I’m kind of anxious to see what it’s like. I’ve been waiting on this for a long time, and it’s still like a dream to me. I’m just going to be out there enjoying every bit of it and trying to learn as much as I can."
  • He'll be working behind Craig Stevens at the weak-side linebacker spot but might branch out to other linebacker spots. "We’ll see how everything goes once camp starts."
Jeffrey Whitaker, DT
  • Seemed very happy-go-lucky. Shook hands with every reporter before starting the interview. That was refreshing.
  • Workouts with strength coach Kevin Yoxall this summer were a shock to his system. "Yoxercised. ... Whew! That's all I'm going to say about that one, but we worked pretty hard."
  • Whitaker didn't seem fazed by the transition to college. He's been through quite a bit in his life. His mother died when he was 12. "It prepared me well," he said. "I think after that stage, it kind of helped me. I had my father, brother, this and that, around, but a mother's love is a mother's love. But that helped me in the long run of how to be responsible. It's just different things, little things, that have helped me out."
  • He's withholding judgment about whether he'll get playing time until he can get on the field and hit some people. "I'm the type of player that I've got to see that once I get in pads," he said. "Right now we're in shorts. Everybody looks good right now. You separate the men from the boys once you put on full pads and all that. I don't know. Can I play? I'm trying to find out: can I play when I get in pads."


Tar Heel Tiger said...

oh yes, Big Jeff can play. These guys sound like outstanding young many, whether they can play football or not.
I love 'em all!

Tar Heel Tiger said...

ok, we can drop the y

The Edge said...

Andy: Which true freshman has the best chance of starting by midseason?

Andy Bitter said...

Just based on position strength, I'd say Reed (slot receiver), Whitaker, Owens or punter Steven Clark.

Maybe Michael Dyer, if Fannin can't handle the load at tailback, which I think he will.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

Phillips is already 1st team FB...just not sure how much they'll use a FB

Andy Bitter said...

That's true. I think HB Eric Smith will actually be the starter, though. It all depends on the package.