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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Late night notes: Auburn takes night off from practice, enjoys some Halloween fun

Auburn didn't practice Sunday night after busing through the night back from Oxford, Miss. But the players did enjoy an optional Halloween costume contest that was judged by the coaches' wives.

Running back Mario Fannin was the winner for his interesting take on former Atlanta Hawks basketball player Dominique Wilkins, a costume complete with an Afro, fake teeth and some excessive padding under the jersey.

Quarterback Cam Newton joined the fun, dressing in a fairy outfit. He had a wand, slippers, halo and, yes, a dress.

“It was crazy,” defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker said. “Just seeing 6-6, 250 in a dress, that was scary, man. That was scary.”

Pictures of Newton went up on the Internet quickly. How long does Whitaker they’ll follow him around?

“Forever,” he said with a laugh. “I’m going to make sure of that.”

Defensive end Corey Lemonier swore the best costume was by Bart Eddins, who could best be described (as friend of the blog David Morrison said) as a saucy cowboy.

(Dave has a good rundown of all the costumes here, by the way).

And here's a link to more pictures from the costume contest.

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There were very few late-night notes (only three players showed up for interviews and they were all defensive linemen), but here are some:
  • Whitaker got in during some non-garbage time against Ole Miss. Even made a tackle. "It builds your confidence," he said. "Your confidence just gets better and better. Right now I'm just getting comfortable. Just not really so much as nervous as I used to be coming into the game.... This is just like playing in high school or when I first started playing football."
  • He expected Auburn to be on the upswing when he picked signed here last winter. "I told everybody I don't know why, but just something special," he said. "I just know it's something special for the years to come. And you know, I really don't know why but it has been a special ride, and it's going to continue to be a special ride. But a lot of people are surprised of this outcome, starting off. But to us, we just take it one play at a time, one game at a time and here we are 9-0. But we've just got to keep working hard."
  • Lemonier's take on his expectations for the team: “I kind of knew Auburn was going to be great, but not this much.”
  • Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker's favorite phrase? "We play for November," Whitaker said. "November is here. So, we've just to keep playing. This is what we play for. This is where the grind of football comes. It's cold. People like to run the ball now, you know what I mean? People are banged up now, so they just want to run the ball at you. ... November is going to be like the final say-so. If you do all the way good, you do good all the way up to November, and you finish November strong, it's going to be a pretty good year."
  • Whitaker thinks highly of his recruiting class. "For me, this class right here is going to be the one that started it," he said.
  • Ole Miss broke the second play of the game for an 83-yard touchdown run. Whitaker said there wasn't any panic on the sideline. "Not at all," he said.
  • Lot of stuff on DT Zach Clayton, who I plan to write a story about for Tuesday. Whitaker had good things to say about him. "You know one of those guys that just makes it look easy?" he said. "Like, ‘I could do that,’ then you go out there and it’s not that easy? Zach makes the whole thing look easy. He’s, if not the hardest worker on the d-line."
  • Count Lemonier in the "things are slowing down" department. "Everything was moving. I didn’t know what to do," he said of his first couple months. "But now everything has slowed down where technique has started to kick in and seeing everything. Since two-adays everything has slowed down and that has helped me.”
  • Clayton said the young players stepping up behind the starters is big. "That’s huge that they come into the game and there’s not a huge lapse in talent," he said. "They give us a break. It’s an extreme help."
  • Everyone we talk to says Clayton is underrated. Does he mind? "No," he said. "I’m perfectly OK with it as long as I’m doing my job to help the defense I’m good."


Clint Richardson said...

I saw the pictures online and couldn't stop laughing. That is hilarious!!

Our Family said...

I cannot believe Cam found shoes to fit him, he must have small feet for a guy his size.

Kurt said...

I shared a couple of your pics on facebook but gave your blog a shout out, hope that does not violate some copywrite laws or anything. Thanks for the morning laugh while drinking my coffee...