August 25, 2012

Greasin' The Rails: On fall camp so far

AUBURN -- We're exactly one week away from the Tigers' season-opening game against Clemson, which is reason to celebrate.


We've waited long enough for football.


Now that Kiehl Frazier has been named quarterback and other up-for-grabs positions apparently filled - most notably safety and defensive tackle - the 2012 iteration of Auburn football has taken shape.


With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most important developments we've seen since Aug. 1. Some players have risen, others have fallen and expectations, as we discussed last week, continue to swell.



  • The biggest mover this fall has been safety Ryan Smith, who was a bit player last fall save for his season-saving tackle to end the Mississippi State game. His natural cover skills fit well with what defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and secondary coach Willie Martinez want to accomplish. Plus, Smith arrived to camp with a refined idea of who he is and what he wants to become. He may not be the most improved player, but he's certainly the biggest surprise.


  • Cornerback Ryan White isn't far behind. Though I'm not yet convinced that he'll start ahead of Robenson Therezie or T'Sharvan Bell just yet, White matured dramatically during the winter and has played with renewed passion since spring ball began. He had his skeptics even going into the A-Day game, but White has maintained his production throughout fall camp. He's clearly not a one-hit wonder.



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