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    Marshall Law: Position races, dead bats and more

    June 25, 2013

    Ramblin' around ...

    When Auburn starts preseason practice in early August, the race to be the starting quarterback will overshadow everything, at least in the public eye. But there are other position races that will be just as interesting.

    Five I will watch:

    Right offensive tackle: Avery Young was a force as a true freshman last season before an injury ended his season after three games. Pat Miller, also a freshman, took over and started the last nine games. A healthy Young could push Miller hard.

    Left offensive guard: Redshirt freshman Alex Kozan and junior college transfer Davonte Danzy are neck-and-neck.

    Defensive end: Senior Dee Ford is as secure in his starting position as any player on the team. But on the other side, Nosa Eguae and converted tackle Ken Carter, both seniors, finished the spring in a tight race. And what about 5-star freshmen Carl Lawson and Elijah Daniel?

    Safety: No one is going to beat out Jermaine Whitehead, but senior Demetruce McNeal, his offseason troubles behind him, and converted cornerback Josh Holsey will compete hard on the other side. Junior college transfer Brandon King and freshmen Mackenro Alexander and Khari Hardin could also be heard from.

    Linebacker: All kinds of possibilities here. Sophomore Kris Frost finished the spring as the No. 1 Mike linebacker and sophomore Cassanova McKinzy as the No. 1 Will. But senior Jake Holland will be heard from and could unseat either one. Redshirt freshman JaViere Mitchell could make a push at Will. Junior college transfer Kenny Flowers could also be in the mix.

    Moving on:

    Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson says junior LaDarius Owens made steady improvement after moving from defensive end to linebacker in the spring. But don’t rule out a return to defensive end. Johnson wants to find a way to get Owens on the field for significant snaps. …

    Running back Peyton Barber from Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., arrived on campus Monday and will start classes Tuesday. Twenty-one of Auburn’s 23 signees are in school and good to go for practice.

    Quarterback/wide receiver Jason Smith appears headed to prep school and wide receiver Earnest Robinson is still working to get eligible. …

    The College World Series has made it clear that something must be done in college baseball. The deadening of the bats has deadened the excitement in the game and will deaden interest if something isn’t done.

    From what I’m told, the bats are not likely to change, but the balls could. The ball used minor leagues is harder than the one used in college. The ball used in the major leagues is even harder. Both would have more carry. There is talk colleges might adopt the minor league ball.

    The big problem isn’t just lack of home runs. Even doubles in the gaps are rare. …

    Until next time …


    Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter:


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