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Daily Archive for February 25th, 2008

Spring Practice Begins

Spring football practice is underway at Auburn.

Which means the Tigers’ four-way quarterback competition is already going strong.

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Todd took his first official practice snaps at Auburn Sunday.

Auburn held its first practice session of the spring Sunday, a two-hour workout in shorts and shoulder pads. Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin wasted no time putting his quarterbacks to work.

The foursome — junior Chris Todd, sophomore Kodi Burns, sophomore Neil Caudle and true freshman DeRon Furr — each threw “a couple hundred passes” according to Franklin.

It was the first step in a competition to replace the departed Brandon Cox.

Burns, who played in 10 games last season, is the most experienced of the four quarterbacks. He played extensively in Franklin’s system in the Tigers’ Chick-Fil-A Bowl win against Clemson, throwing for a touchdown and running for another.

He opens the spring as one of the front-runners for the starting job.

Burns said the competition didn’t change his approach.

“I knew this spring I’d be competing for the job, and I feel good about it,” he said. “Like I said, I have my confidence back and I’m throwing the ball great, so I feel good.”

Todd, a junior-college transfer who was recruited to Auburn by Franklin, said the competition is spirited.

“You want to win the job and you’re going to compete for it and you’re going to do your best every day,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing. I’m just going to come out and try to compete and play the best I can every day in practice.”

After spending most of the two-hour practice throwing passes, Todd wasn’t finished. He stayed after the end of practice to work on his delivery, throwing to walk-on wide receiver John Cubelic.

The two played catch for at least 20 minutes after the end of practice.

Todd said he needed the extra work.

“I’ve honestly got to get my arm back in shape,” he said. “I haven’t thrown this much in a long time. … Everybody is going to be trying to get their arms back in shape.”

Though Todd didn’t sound entirely pleased with his performance, Franklin liked what he saw. All four quarterbacks saw action in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Todd, who played in Franklin’s system in high school at Elizabethtown, Ky., turned in the best performance.

“He was probably the most accurate,” Franklin said of Todd. “That’s what he’s good at. He’s good at throwing the ball. He’s got a pretty good basic understanding of the offense.”

Franklin said Burns and Caudle, the No. 4 quarterback in 2007, had improved since bowl practice.

“I thought Kodi threw the ball better today,” Franklin said. “I was pleased with him. I thought Neil threw the ball well, too. So it looks like it’s going to be fun. Good competition.”

Auburn is scheduled to return to practice Tuesday. The Tigers will hold their first scrimmage next Saturday.