AUBURN -- The Auburn Tigers returned to campus Tuesday evening in readiness for their first practice of preseason camp scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Auburn is preparing for its season opener versus Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Saturday, September 1, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Several veterans offered comments on getting back to practice:
WR Travante Stallworth:
On beginning fall practice... "I'm ready. I've been at the house all week this week just thinking and just ready to go. It's been a long wait. I haven't had any classes the second mini-semester, so I'm ready to get started."
On how the summer went trying to get used to the new offense... "It went really well. We tried to install something every week because Coach (Scot) Loeffler told us at the end of the spring that when we picked it back up during fall camp, it's going to move fast. We were just trying to get out there with the quarterbacks and trying to get timing down and just learning different routes and learning different concepts to be sure that we're ready for tomorrow."
On how it feels to get back to football after a hard offseason... "It's very exciting. I'm just ready to see some of the young guys like Sammie (Coates) for example, get out there and play. It's my senior year. Me, (Philip) Lutz(enkirchen) and Emory (Blake) have been talking a lot; we just want to go out with a bang and try to do something real special for Auburn."
On starting fall camp... "It's the first practice of a new season, and I'm pretty excited about it. I'm just excited about seeing some of the new guys, the freshmen coming in. Ready to move around, fly around a little bit. I'm looking forward to it."On preparing for the first game... "These two weeks are going to be very important everywhere around the whole college football nation. I think we've just got to continue to build on the pace we've been going. (We need to continue) being very attentive in meetings, and knowing when we get on the field to make the right calls, and shoot the right gaps."
On being a veteran leader, along with Nosa Equae... "It's finally here - the year of (our recruiting class) all coming together for our junior season, being leaders. After the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we started taking that role and making some decisions. Now we're the `old heads' on the block. I love it."
DT Nosa Equae
On having depth on the defensive line... "It is about competition. This is the best. We haven't had this kind of depth since I have been here. We are looking forward to competing, and I think that is our big thing. When everyone sees us competing, everyone will follow."
On the anticipation building for the season... "I have been waiting for it for a long time. When you have been injured and out of the game for eight months, you don't understand how much you miss it. I am just looking forward to it, and I know my teammates are, too."
On coming back from injuries... "It gives you perspective -- not to take anything for granted. You go out there every day and get better. On Saturdays, you play like you don't have anything left. You take every opportunity you get."
On how important fall will be... "It is going to be awesome. You will have guys competing for jobs, and having guys go out there doing whatever they can do to get their role on this team. It is going to be a great two weeks before we get back into school, and I know everybody is going to go out there and compete."
On how big the summer was... "It was really big. I think the captains' workouts were big, because I think those put us ahead of where the coaches expect us to be at this point. They're the best we've had since I have been here. They were productive day in and day out. It was a big summer for us, offensively and defensively. It is going to be an exciting fall camp."
On what was different this summer... "I think it was the leadership, and the guys that are willing to follow the leaders. Everyone got to work. This year there is no gray area."On having a larger group of juniors and seniors... "Everybody knows what to expect. When you are a freshman or sophomore, your head is still spinning, but now that you have more juniors and seniors, there is a better foundation. Guys are willing to be leaders."