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Auburn Spring Game Quotes

Auburn Head Coach Hugh Freeze

Opening statement…

“Thanks to our fans and the band and everyone that weathered the conditions to come out and support our players today. We appreciate that very much. It was my first spring game to have those types of conditions. I certainly appreciate you guys for being here to cover it all. We got through it without anybody getting injured, which is always a plus. I thought it was a solid day. There were some good things and some not-so-good things, of course. Overall, I think our first spring and the 15 days that our kids gave us had some great energy and effort. We took the right step toward building some foundational things that we’re going to have to lean on to compete next year in this league. I’m pleased with our staff and there is a lot of good we can take from the 15 days.”


On the game ending in a tie...

"Everybody can get steaks. Ms. Danielle (Gillan) can feed them all everything she had planned. I told them it's our first trip into Jordan-Hare and both sides are undefeated. I like the way it ended. I did give the option to the coordinators on headset. I said, 'Look, our ones, twos and threes got the same amount of possessions. Do y'all want to go ones right here from the three-yard line for the win or loss, one play?' They were quiet for a long time on that. They didn't give me an answer for a while and I said, 'Are you going to answer?' and they said, 'Let's leave it a tie,' so I'm happy with the way it ended. It really is good seeing them kick that thing through under those conditions. It was really, really soggy and wet and the snap was really slow. It was good that we got some of that experience."


On the development of the quarterback position...

"I feel better than I did 15 practices ago. I think from this point, now until the end of fall camp, there's so much that needs to happen for somebody to solidify being 'the guy.' I think all have improved. I think all are still inconsistent with some things. We really wanted to throw that ball around and it would've been really ugly and probably a lot of three-and-outs had we tried to do that. I think Robby (Ashford) got better. He's really been fun to coach. I think he's trying to change some of the things that may have caused me concern about him being the quarterback leader, whether it be body language or ball security or just your demeanor in general — the way you talk, the way you talk to your teammates. I don't know that anybody has really challenged him the way I did this spring with that. I thought all three of them responded to our challenges and were like, 'please coach us.' I think you saw today that he's got the capability of making some plays. I thought he threw a really good seam ball in those conditions. I thought Holden (Geriner) threw some good balls. He missed a couple reads on some RPOs I think. T.J. (Finley) did too. It's kind of been that way all spring. Some really positives one day and some inconsistencies the next day. We've still got some time to help them improve, hopefully."


Holden Geriner, QB

On his A-Day experience…

“It was, as I’m sure you all saw out there, not the best weather, but it was still awesome to be out there with all the guys and compete and have some fun. It was a lot of fun just getting out there with all the guys. It was really a great experience and super appreciative of all the fans that came out there and supported. So, it was a great experience.”


On his 2-point conversion
That’s been something that I’ve been trying to implement recently, just being able to run a lot more. I think I’ve definitely improved on that a lot and it’s something I like to show.”


Avery Jones, OL

About the rain and chaos…

“I think it’s good because of course you’re going to have games where it’s going to rain a lot and we’ve got to play through that and not let that affect us. At the end of the day, we’re still trying to get the win, so I think today was a good way to practice that.”


On the style of game for the offensive line…

“Games like this you can’t focus on passing, so you really got to focus on running the ball and moving.”


Robby Ashford, QB

On being out there today…

“It felt good. The conditions weren’t ideal, but just going out there with guys, having fun. Credit to those fans who showed up. It was pouring out here but showing up and showing their support. We appreciate that. To go out there and end the spring strong with the guys, it was fun. These 15 practices have been fun. It was good to be back in the crib, back in the most beautiful stadium in the world. You can’t beat it.”


On being challenged in practice…

“I feel like every single day I found something to get better at. Coach (Hugh) Freeze definitely challenged me, and I appreciate that because he has taught me so much already in such a short amount of time. Being able to go out there and have him challenge me has been really good. Just from our talks, he is a coach who really cares and really wants to see me succeed. Him, Coach (Philip) Montgomery, Coach (Kent) Austin, and Coach (Jesse) Stone have all just helped me tremendously and have gotten me so much better from day one of spring ball to practice No. 15.”


Robert Woodyard Jr., LB

On his progress…

“I feel like I’ve come a long way mentally, just coming off injury. It was kind of a setback coming in. Being able to know the defense more and my teammates have really pushed me. I really feel like I fit the defense well and I feel like I know the ins and outs of it, and I really know the guys around me.”


On the weather conditions…

“You have to love it to play in the rain. For me I don’t really care, but it was pretty fun playing in the rain with my brothers.”


T.J. Finley, QB

On the quarterback competition… 

“It’s about competing and bettering ourselves in each aspect of the game – mentally and physically. Anywhere in the country, guys are competing, at each and every school. It’s always good to compete. You need competition to bring the best out of you each and every day, and I think we’re all responding to it well.”


On how the offense has adapted and grown under Coach Freeze …

“We’ve grown tremendously. Today was kind of vanilla just because of the weather and things like that. During practices and all that, the stuff that we’ve put in – everybody is grasping onto the concept of what we’re trying to get done here as an offense. I think we’re all doing well with it and we’ll continue to grow throughout the summer on our own and then once we transfer over to fall camp.”


Jarquez Hunter, RB

On how the spring has gone for the running backs…

“I think it's been great the whole spring. We all went out there and competed well. Coach (Carnell) Williams did well installing the new plays. All of us are trying to get the new plays down pat, but I think we all did have a good spring.”


On being ready to be the top running back…

“All the running backs had a pretty good run and at least one explosive run today. Anybody can go in there and contribute. I think Coach Williams can put anybody in and we can do the job and get the job done. It was great to see everybody just go out there and compete.”


Nehemiah Pritchett, CB

On conditions today with fans and rain…

“It was good getting the fans back out here to watch us practice. The weather was unfortunate.

but we got in and got some things done.”


Jayson Jones, DL

On the defense’s performance today…

“I think our effort was there. We just have to keep on getting down on the technique, play

with our hands, play fast, play physical and most importantly, play together.”


On adjusting to the weather…

“Yeah, because no matter where we are, you always have to adjust to the climate. For

example, when we go out to Berkeley it is not going to be humid, it is a dry heat and that’s

totally different.”



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