Friday, April 13, 2012

Auburn Tigers Spring Game: Jay Prosch and Four Others to Watch on A-Day

Jay Prosch - FB
AP Photo

Jay Prosch is going to be a stud for Auburn. Rarely will I step out on a limb that big, but I'll do it for this guy. He has already earned the nickname Juggernaut from his teammates for his abilities on the field and in the weight room. Alongside Prosch there are four others that I will be watching closely on Saturday.

The Auburn Tigers are heading into the final two days of spring training this weekend with A-Day being a major focus. Tomorrow marks another practice for the Tigers, but it is much more for the fans.

The Auburn faithful will head to Jordan-Hare Stadium looking for a glimpse at some of their favorite players, and hoping to find new ones before the fall approaches. Here are my five guys to watch for Saturday.

Jay Prosch - FB

Jay Prosch is a transfer from Illinois this season. He is heading into A-Day after having a monster spring. He has received rave reviews from his teammates with his bone-chilling blocks as he has helped pave the way for Auburn's talented backfield.

Prosch transferred to Auburn to be closer to family and has applied for a waiver to the NCAA's transfer rules requiring a transferring athlete to sit a full season after the move is made. Prosch's mother was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago.

Prosch was an All-American selection as a sophomore at Illinois, and will likely draw looks again this season in the new Scot Loeffler offense. Prosch may not carry the ball at all on A-Day, but you won't be able to miss his abilities. Bulldozers are tough to miss on football fields.

Kris Frost - LB

Kris Frost is one of the most intriguing players on the team to me. He was a five-star talent coming out of high school that could have played on both sides of the ball. The Tigers placed Frost at his best fit, outside linebacker, and he fell to injury early in fall camp.

After shoulder surgery, Frost is back to his top form, ready to contribute for the Tigers this season. Frost is taking reps at one of the starting outside linebacker spots, and is expected to keep a firm hold on the position throughout fall.

Frost will be a key for the defense on A-Day. He is as talented as any on the field, but how he has developed at the position this spring should show. It will be exciting to watch this guy full speed for the first time in front of a crowd at Jordan-Hare. I think that Frost will be an elite defender for the Tigers in the near future.

Jake Holland - LB

Jake Holland is a well known player for the Tigers. He has been on the field for the Tigers since his freshman  year in 2010. He saw time as a backup to Josh Bynes on the national championship squad.

Holland started games last season while splitting time at middle with Eltoro Freeman, but battled injuries to his ankle and wrist throughout the year. This is likely to be Holland's year.

Holland is a smart player who will have the chance to flourish in the Brian VanGorder defense. A lot of weight will rest on his shoulders, but Holland will prove he is the guy for the job. If Holland stays healthy, he will surprise the conference.

Sammie Coates - WR

Auburn struggled at wide receiver a year ago. The Tigers had one reliable target in Emory Blake, but not much else. The Tigers are very talented at the receiver position, despite their apparent inability to make plays last season.

One guy that will bring a lot of excitement to the Tigers passing game is Sammie Coates. Coates redshirted last season after an injury sidelined him during fall camp. I would expect Coates to be a name that is seen often on A-Day.

Coates is speedy and has the size to battle the best corners in the country. The Tigers need an additional playmaker to help bring attention away from Emory Blake. Coates appears to be able to fit that role.

I would expect at least one big play from Coates on A-Day.

Corey Grant - RB

Corey Grant is my choice for breakout player of the year this season. There has not been a lot of glossy reports that have come from the running back position this spring, but when there have been big plays, Grant is typically affiliated with them.

Grant has the size and speed to make a huge impact for the Tigers this season. He can take the football up the middle consistently, break to the outside on sweeps, and could be dangerous in the passing game.

Grant is still a walk-on for the Tigers, but he will be as good as any scholarship back for the Tigers this fall. A four-star transfer from Alabama, big things should come this fall for Grant.

On A-Day, I expect to see a few big runs from Grant. I also expect the fans that get the chance to see him in action will begin to understand what a huge addition that he was to this Tigers football team a year ago.