Cooper added to mix at center

Auburn senior offensive lineman Jared Cooper's name has now been added to the rotation for starting center.

Sophomore Blake Burgess and freshman Reese Dismukes have been battling for the starting center job all spring, but offensive line coach Jeff Grimes introduced another name into the fray Monday.

Senior Jared Cooper, the 6-foot-4, 298-pounder from Brewton, who has played mostly a special teams role in 33 career games with the Tigers and has spent most of the spring at left guard.

“At this point, there are so many different variables and spring ball is the chance to find out who can do what different things,” Grimes said. “At the end of the day, what you want to do is get you best five guys on the field and so sometimes you might have to move some guys around to make that happen. So I’m just trying to find out who can do what.”

Grimes said he’d ideally like to have a line hierarchy coming out of spring, but it’s by no means a necessity.

“I’m not going to do it just to do it,” he said. “On the one hand, it gives you a little bit of stability within the group. On the other hand, I like competition and I think competition makes everybody better.

“If there are couple spots that are still up in the air because the competition is too close to call, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.”

Status quo

Tigers head coach Gene Chizik said there was no movement in the quarterback race between junior Barrett Trotter and sophomore Clint Moseley after Saturday’s scrimmage.

“It could end up being the last day of fall camp,” Moseley said. “I just have to be prepared for anything. That’s the biggest thing. If I have my mindset right and do all the small things right I just feel like everything will take care of itself.

“If it takes to the end of fall camp or whenever it is or if I don’t win it, I just have to be prepared for anything.”

Moseley said the two quarterbacks are switching out with the “orange” first team day-to-day in practice, and neither has the upper hand so far.

“Either way it’s going to be tough for the other person whoever doesn’t win it, for sure,” Moseley said. “He’s a really good person and I know he’ll handle it the right way, and he thinks the same of me.”

Life in the slot

With Kodi Burns graduated and a shortage of proven receivers on the field, junior H-back Philip Lutzenkirchen is getting a look in the slot this spring.

The 6-foot-4, 253-pounder said it’s a natural fit because of his roots as a receiving tight end in high school.

“I kind of have a different body from when I was younger and used to do that. It takes a little more to get all this weight going,” Lutzenkirchen said. “But I think it’ll continue to get more natural as we work at it.” | 737-2568

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