August 28, 2012

NOTEBOOK: VanGorder not giving up on freshmen

AUBURN -- Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said Tuesday night that several freshmen who didn't make the depth chart will remain with the varsity indefinitely.

That group includes linebacker Cassanova McKinzy and cornerbacks Joshua Holsey and Jonathan Jones.

VanGorder insinuated that McKinzy, who currently is blocked by former walk-on Ashton Richardson for the reserve spot at middle linebacker, will be the toughest decision of all.

"There's a lot of things involved and it's a long season," VanGorder said. "We're talking about a player who has really, really good physical traits who is learning the game. But those physical traits are obvious. That's one that I'm sure, staff-wise, we'll have a lot of talk about."

STEP IN, STEP UP: Auburn will be forced to play this weekend without their most experienced center, but that isn't dampening spirits around the Athletic Complex.

In fact, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler seems energized by what sophomore Tunde Fariyike, promoted Sunday after Reese Dismukes ' weekend arrest, has accomplished in practice. Though Fariyike has participated in just one game along the offensive front, players and coaches alike seem convinced that good things will happen Saturday.

"We were very fortunate that he's been around and he's been in games," Loeffler said. "He's been a part of our special teams. He's taken live snaps in a live game, so he's beyond ready to go. We have complete confidence in him -- and we're ready to rock and roll."

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