NCAA Football: Auburn A-Day

Auburn Tigers quarterback Bo Nix (10)may be the front runner for the starting quarterback position this summer.

AUBURN — The next time we’ll see the Auburn football team on the field is Aug. 31 against Oregon.

Monday marked the final time media members would be allowed to view practice. The focus, as you might expect, was on the ongoing quarterback battle.

The Tigers will hold their second scrimmage of the fall Wednesday at Jordan-Hare Stadium and are set to officially conclude fall camp on Sunday, the day before classes start.

Here are some quick observations from approximately 40 minutes spent on the practice fields on Monday:

Bo Nix led the way at quarterback

Auburn still hasn’t named a starting quarterback. But if Monday’s practice was any indication, it might at least have a leader for the job.

Offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham put four quarterbacks through a series of drills at the start of practice — footwork, handoffs, ball security and passes to all targets in all directions — and it all but one of those drills, it was the true freshman Bo Nix that received the first rep ahead of redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and reserves Cord Sandberg and Wil Appleton.

One 40-minute window into practice doesn’t decide a job, but Nix appeared to be the most accurate passer of the group.

A look at how Auburn lined up on offense, defense

Auburn ran only a few minutes of its 11-on-11 pace drill, but it did have a bit of a different look on the first-team offense.

Most notably, Harold Joiner got the first-team rep at running back next to Nix. Spencer Nigh was the H-back/tight end, and Marquis McClain (split end), Matthew Hill (flanker) and Sal Cannella (slot) were the wide receivers.

Gatewood quarterbacked the second-team offense with D.J. Williams at running back, Tyler Fromm at H-back/tight end. Seth Williams, John Samuel Shenker and James Owens Moss served as the wide receiver in a grouping that probably does not mean much in terms of the depth chart.

That was just for two four-play pace periods, though: When Auburn split back into position drills, the running back order was closer to what you would expect it to be — JaTarvious Whitlow, Kam Martin, Malik Miller and Williams.

The second-team offensive line consisted of Alec Jackson, Tashawn Manning, Nick Brahms, Jalil Irvin and Brodarious Hamm from left to right.

The first-team defense lined up in a way consistent with the rest of fall camp: T.D. Moultry, Derrick Brown, Tyrone Truesdell and Marlon Davidson on the defensive line; Chandler Wooten and Owen Pappoe at linebacker; Noah Igbinoghene and Javaris Davis at corner; Christian Tutt at nickel; and Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas at safety.

Nick Coe played defensive tackle and Big Kat Bryant was at Buck with the second-team defense, which was filled out by a low-level depth-chart players.

Injury roundup

— Running back D.J. Williams and linebacker K.J. Britt both traded the orange, non-contact jerseys they had been wearing for regular ones, indicating that they have been cleared for full contact.

— Players in orange, non-contact jerseys included: Wide receiver Jashawn Sheffield, tight end Luke Deal, offensive lineman Keiondre Jones, defensive linemen Coynis Miller Jr. and Jaren Handy, linebacker Kameron Brown and defensive back Jordyn Peters.

— Miller, Sheffield, defensive tackle Daquan Newkirk and offensive lineman Prince Michael Sammons stretched separately from the rest of the team.

— Wide receiver Shedrick Jackson did not appear to be present at practice.

— Wide receiver Anthony Schwartz was at practice but in street clothes as he recovers from a hand injury that required surgery last week.

New leader at punt return?

Senior Javaris Davis was the first punt returner on the field the last time Auburn allowed reporters into practice last Tuesday, but on Monday, it was sophomore Christian Tutt who got the first chance, followed by wide receiver Matthew Hill and Davis.

Tutt is the only one of those three players who has returned a punt during his collegiate career, averaging 13 yards over five attempts behind Ryan Davis last season.

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