From: Jeff Shearer
Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin
AUBURN, Alabama – Auburn kicked off preseason training Friday with veterans working out in the mornings and newcomers working out in the evenings, 29 days before the Tigers host Mercer on Sept. 3 in the season opener.
“What we do in training camp will be extremely important to our success for the rest of the season,” the second-year head coach said. Bryan Harsinoutlining Auburn’s daily schedule that begins at 6 a.m. and ends with curfew at 10:45 p.m.
“The beauty of the game is that you can settle the score in the arena,” Harsin said. “All this work that we’ve been doing, and what our guys have been doing since January, it’s all going to fall into place and hopefully that will show on September 3.”
Auburn coordinators are new to their roles, but they’re not new to Auburn or Harsin, with a defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau having earned promotions after being a position coach last season.
“We’re talking about competition,” said Schmedding, who coached the Auburn linebackers in 2021. “Guys have to earn it every day. We don’t want to look for comfort in our past. You have to show up ready to work. “
“I’m excited to know where we are and where we’re going,” said Kiesau, who coached Auburn’s receivers last season. “When you step on this pitch, you are in competition because the camp is short. We don’t have time to dwell on it.”
After Friday’s first practice, four veteran players spoke to reporters, with the fifth-year wide receiver shedrick jackson describing his leadership role.
“I’m grateful for it and I love it,” said Jackson, Auburn’s leading returning receiver with 50 career catches for 657 yards.
offensive lineman Austin Troxell returns for his sixth season after starting at tackle in 2021.
“We’re building something special here and I wanted to be a part of it,” Troxell said. “We are a confident group. We have a lot of depth. There are a lot of things we need to work on. We are building the camaraderie of the unit and we are going to improve every day.”
Linebacker Owen Pappoe returns for his senior season after injury limited him to five games last year.
“It’s given me a whole new appreciation for the game and it makes me want to go harder than ever before,” said Papoe, captain in 2021. “We’re going into the season with a chip on our shoulder. Things feel different this year.”
“I feel like this team can go so far and do so much,” the junior defensive lineman said. Wooden colby, who plans to graduate in December. “We owe it to Auburn. I want to go out with a bang.”
As Auburn fires multiple starters, Harsin has made it clear that every position has competition.
“I’m proud of our guys for the job they’ve done,” Harsin said. “I’m excited about this team. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of things to prove. Everyone in this team is going to help us win.
“All these guys who have been through this for three, four or five years, there’s a reason when they get out of here, they’ll be successful. They’re not afraid to grind, they know how to work and they can push themselves. “
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer