College Football Notebook
AUBURN — Decatur High graduate Jerraud Powers has impressed defensive coordinator Will Muschamp enough in preseason practice that the coach has named Powers the No. 1 cornerback.
Powers, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound sophomore, stole the No. 1 cornerback spot from senior Patrick Lee. He has been working with the first-stringers this week in practice and seems certain to start during Auburn’s final preseason scrimmage this weekend.
Powers didn’t start a game last season, partly because of an injured shoulder, but offseason surgery has restored his health to 100 percent, he said. Powers had 26 tackles and four pass deflections in his redshirt freshman season last year.
He had two interceptions during Sunday’s practice, leading to more praise from Muschamp, the Tigers’ second-year defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
“He’s a guy that comes out with his lunch pail every day to work,” Muschamp said.
Auburn finished its final day of two-a-days Wednesday and will take off Thursday before scrimmaging for a second and final time.
Daily sports writer
TUSCALOOSA — When Alabama coach Nick Saban called out the defense after Saturday’s scrimmage, the team took it to heart, so much so that cornerback Simeon Castille sort of followed his coach in doing the same thing.
“I told them how important it was to study our playbook,” Castille said. “If we were going to beat teams through outworking them and making less mistakes than they make, they should just take their playbooks home.”
According to Castille, he has made sure that the defensive players take home their playbooks after every practice this week.
When asked how big the defensive playbook was, defensive end Wallace Gilberry said, “It’s thick.”
Then a reporter pressed Gilberry to compare the playbook to the Bible, Gilberry said the playbook was thicker.
“I would say it’s like a biology text book,” he said.
? Wednesday marked a momentous occasion in the careers of Alabama’s seniors. It was the final two-a-day practice session for them in college.
“I am kind of excited,” Castille said. “I am ready to start working on Western Carolina and getting ready to prepare for the first game.”
? Just one day after Saban said running back Roy Upchurch could be out until Alabama’s Sept. 15 game against Arkansas, Upchurch wore a white contact jersey Wednesday.
While it is unclear when Upchurch will be ready for game action, his being healthy enough to hit is an indication that he could be back sooner than expected.
During the day practice, defensive lineman Jeremy Elder was the only Tide player wearing a black non-contact jersey. In the evening workout, defensive tackle Brian Motley wore a non-contact jersey.
Daily Sports Writer
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Freshman quarterback Nathan Dick — younger brother of first-string signal-caller Casey Dick — drew praise from Arkansas coach Houston Nutt after Wednesday’s workout.
“He has come the furthest with everything we have thrown at them,” Nutt said. “His arm looks good. He is catching on. I’m glad we got him here.”
The coach said the younger Dick got some extra reps during an hourlong indoor practice session Wednesday morning.
“We changed the schedule and the tempo a little bit today to see if we could get a turnaround,” Nutt said.
“For the most part they responded well. They got to that 12th practice and were feeling a little sorry for themselves at times. We got some things done today.”
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Former NFL star linebacker Wilber Marshall wasn’t eligible for Florida’s Ring of Honor last season, and his omission from the school’s first induction ceremony raised eyebrows.
The Gators responded by tweaking the criteria and said Wednesday that Marshall will be inducted into the Ring of Honor on Sept. 29, before Florida hosts Auburn.
“I’m excited that it did happen,” Marshall said. “It’s something that a lot of guys would like to have happen to them and it makes me feel really good that it did.”
Marshall, though, conceded that he was disappointed about not being part of the inaugural class. Former coach and Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier, Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel, running back Emmitt Smith and defensive end Jack Youngblood were inducted last fall.
Marshall was a two-time consensus All-American and the 1983 national defensive player of the year.
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia broke camp Wednesday without many answers on its offensive line.
Classes start Thursday for University of Georgia students, ending the Bulldogs’ preseason schedule of two-a-day practices. Saturday begins the two-week countdown to the Bulldogs’ Sept. 1 opener against Oklahoma State, and still coach Mark Richt can’t say who will start on the line or even what positions potential starters will play.
Richt and offensive line coach Stacy Searels are still evaluating freshmen, redshirt freshmen and transfers on the line.
Richt said freshman Clint Boling and senior Chester Adams could play guard or tackle. If Adams, currently the starting right tackle, moves to right guard, Scott Haverkamp might move from right guard to left guard.
Haverkamp and Adams returned from ankle injuries Wednesday.
? Remarcus Brown, a backup cornerback and special teams player, has been suspended for two games for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
? Richt said freshman Drew Butler, the son of former Georgia kicker Kevin Butler, has the “slight edge” over Brian Mimbs to win the punting job.
New Mexico State
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Most people think of college football as a black-and-blue sport. For New Mexico State, it’s time to think pink.
The Aggies will wear pink socks and their coaches will wear pink golf shirts for a Sept. 29 home game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a push to raise money for breast cancer research, a cause close to coach Hal Mumme’s heart.
His wife, June, was diagnosed in late 1996. She began chemotherapy treatments a few months later — right after Mumme was hired as Kentucky’s coach.
“It’s a terrible disease and a lot of people have to go through it,” Mumme said. “When you see what your wife is going through and what your friends are going through, what to call on third-and-9 doesn’t seem that important.”
FLORENCE — North Alabama’s first day in pads Wednesday was a productive one, but heat was again a factor, according to head coach Mark Hudspeth.
“I thought we started out well, but we really let up about midway through because of the heat,” Hudspeth said. “We called the team up and had a little heart-to-heart and really challenged the players to raise the bar a little and they came back and picked it up.”
Hudspeth said the team was getting good leadership from team captains A.J. Milwee and Derrick Chatman but he was looking for additional players to provide some as well.
“Derrick and A.J. are doing a good job, but we need more leadership from our upperclassmen,” Hudspeth said. “We need our veterans to step up and show the new guys how we practice and what’s expected and set the tone.”
Hudspeth said the Lions had a good team scrimmage period and got a lot of work done. The Lions are scheduled to have two practice sessions Thursday, but those plans are tentative because of the heat forecast.
JACKSONVILLE — The Gamecocks will hold their second scrimmage Thursday and head coach Jack Crowe hopes to complete his 56-man dress roster and begin game preparations for the season opener against Alabama State.
“We’re on a faster track to get to the Alabama State game plan,” he said. “We want to put an end to the installation and the initial learning curve and pick the 56 players that will get on the bus to face Alabama State.”
Crowe said he would be surprised if any freshmen make the 56-man roster.
BIRMINGHAM — The UAB football team finished its third two-a-day practice of the fall Wednesday, devoting the majority of its attention during the second practice on the one-minute drill.
It was the first time this fall season the Blazers worked on the one-minute drill, and head coach Neil Callaway saw positives from both the offense and defense.
“Both sides of the ball were really strong during the drill,” Callaway said. “The offense did a good job moving down the field and working on clock management. And I thought the defense had a lot of key stops.”
From Staff, Wire Reports
Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
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