Long run, defense and ‘an awesome time’ at Auburn’s A-Day

Kamryn Pettway Auburn football during A-Day on Saturday, April 9, 2016 in Auburn, Ala.  Photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics

Kamryn Pettway
Auburn football during A-Day on Saturday, April 9, 2016 in Auburn, Ala.
Photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics


By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. ― The quarterbacks said they wished they could have played A-Day without the protection that came with the no-contact orange jerseys they were told to wear.


Linebacker Tre’ Williams wished the quarterbacks were in their regular gear, too.

“I really hate the ‘orange jersey’ thing,” Williams said. “I wanted to hit them.”

Alas, he couldn’t, but the defense still received good reviews from coach Gus Malzahn after Auburn’s A-Day Game played in front of 45,723 fans in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn also took a long look at quarterbacks Sean White, Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III. Malzahn didn’t say who won that battle.

But Williams chipped in with a “I think the quarterbacks really played well.”

That’s when defensive end Carl Lawson wasn’t chasing them around. He was named the defensive MVP. Running back Jovon Robinson, who rushed for a game-high 83 yards, and receiver Marcus Davis, who had three catches for 88 yards, shared offensive MVP honors. Daniel Carlson, who kicked five field goals, including a 55 and 52-yarder, was the special teams MVP.

It was a game to look at different things, and many, many walk-ons. Even Chandler Cox and Kamyrn Pettway, H-backs by trade, got to play tailback. A-Day’s leading rusher, Jovon Robinson, was impressed.

“I’m extremely excited for those guys,” Robinson said. “Those guys’ hands are in the dirt, they’re blocking. For those guys to be able to run down the field was a sight to see.”

Robinson led A-Day in rushing. But Cox broke free for a 71-yard run.

“I wasn’t thinking about getting that big of a gain, but I was looking and thinking ‘Is someone going to catch me?’ It was an awesome time and play,” Cox said.

Pettway got the work, too, with seven carries for 77 yards.

“I think we have a bright future as a 1-2 combo,” Pettway said of his running mate Cox. “I feel like we bring a lot of versatility to the offense this year. We can run the ball and block. As freshmen, we mostly blocked. We were young, so we didn’t know too much. I think we’re learning. We’ll mature a lot this year.”

More from A-Day…

• The Blue team beat the White team 19-10, though since players played for both teams, and Carlson kicked some of his field goals for the Blue, and others for the White, the score hardly mattered.

• Tre’ Williams and Darrell Williams led the defensive charts with six tackles each. Darrell Williams, Lawson and Rudy Ford each had a sack.

• Freshman running back Malik Miller barely played after suffering an ankle injury. “But he’s really had a good spring and it’s been really good for him,” Malzahn said.

• A-Day did not mark the end of spring practice. The Tigers will practice again Tuesday.

“Ideally, it’s a teaching day,” Malzahn said. But he added he’d discuss the direction of the final practice with offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

• Fourteen players ran the ball, including three walk-ons, three scholarship quarterbacks and two receivers. Walk-on running back C.J. Tolbert had the most carries, 13, for 34 yards.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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