December 14, 2006

Notebook: Tigers back at practice

After a four week layoff, Auburn was finally back on the practice fields Thursday for a hard-hitting, two-hour workout.

"We had a very spirited, enthusiastic practice today," said AU head coach Tommy Tuberville. "It's good to see our guys back. It has been a long few weeks out recruiting and getting ready for the bowl game, and also these guys finishing up academically."

Much of Thursday's practice was focused on improving the fundamentals and techniques of the veteran players and getting all the younger players, especially the 22 redshirts, used to playing with the big boys.

All of AU's bowl practices will include an extra session at the end just for the younger players.

"We're going to do a lot of practicing with younger players, as we did today," said Tuberville. "At the end of each practice, a lot of guys who are redshirting or not playing will practice 30 or 45 minutes, working on basics and fundamentals. (We're) trying to get a jump on spring practice."

True freshman wide receiver Tim Hawthorne, who redshirted this fall, is excited about the week ahead and the opportunity to take a step toward earning playing time next season.

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