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Spring newsbits, signing off

No pressure or anything, Mario.

Like a classic horror movie spook, just when you thought spring practice was dead and it was safe to turn your attention entirely over to recruiting or baseball or soccer or whatever you use to distract yourself over the endless ache of summer LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU SPRING PRACTICE IS ALIVE AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

Not to fear any longer, Auburn fans: spring practice is truly, finally over, the stake driven through its beautiful heart, and now we can finally celebrate not having a single shred of verifiable Auburn football information for three-plus months. Wait, why are we celebrating again? (The overly-extended metaphor, right.)

So for the final time, please pay a visit to and thank in some small way information-gatherers Andy Bitter, Jay Tate, Charles Goldberg, Bryan Matthews, and Evan Woodbery. Here’s what we learned from them after Auburn’s last official practice of spring camp:

— If there are any stragglers that still haven’t jumped on the Mario Fannin bandwagon, better hurry, it’s pulling out of the station. (The, uh, bandwagon station. I guess.) If Curtis Luper’s going to let us write in “bold letters” the same predictions he made about Ben Tate last year, Fannin is going to be the primary back and he’s going to have a great year barring injury or a sudden fumbleitis relapse. It’s done and dusted.

Which is a terrific thing. For one thing, Fannin’s earned his shot. For another, as much as I love Michael Dyer, we’d be talking about an awful lot of pressure to stick on a true freshman’s shoulders the day he showed up. For a third, after an entire career of being yanked around, Fannin’s finally got coaches who are giving it to him straight and just giving him the ball: Here it is, son. Do something with it.

He’s gonna.

— Not really a surprise that Chizik passed on naming a starter, since we can all see that Newton still has plenty to work on accuracy-wise, and it’s probably in the team’s best interests to let him spend the summer working on it with the starter’s carrot still out in front of him.

But why he can’t at least acknowledge what everyone knows at the other end of the depth chart and admit that Clint Moseley’s not going to be the starter? When the other three guys all rotate throughout the first half of A-Day with the first string and you very specifically have to wait until after halftime, the writing’s not just on the wall, it’s written in giant sequins and accompanying floodlights. Hell, even Moseley admits it. Why can’t Chizik?

— Speaking of Moseley, the candor in his interview yesterday was plenty refreshing. Sometimes we wonder why Recruit X or hotshot Transfer Y just never get their act together on the college level, and Moseley gave us a great glimpse into why–when you’ve never gotten chewed out in high school because you’re the best player in the county, getting a daily faceful of profanity from a college coach because you’re not even the third-best guy at your position has to be like walking around with one of those cartoon storm clouds over your head. No wonder the cloud never goes away for some of them.

“Negative attitude” or not, I don’t see why on earth some Auburn fans expect Moseley to transfer. Looking down the road to the post-Newton era, Trotter and the quarterback from this 2011 class (who Moseley will have two years of experience on) will likely be the only things standing between him and the starter’s job. If he’s still stuck on the third string in spring 2012, yeah, we’ll talk. But for now, I think Moseley’s right when he says he has it good.

— After already visiting the country once with the offensive coordinator’s wife, the head coach’s wife is organizing a mission trip to Haiti that will feature the starting quarterback, the star defensive end, and several other Auburn players. It’s Great to Be an Auburn Tiger.

— A little disappointing that Chizik couldn’t be a little more forceful with his prognosis for Etheridge’s return–which still sounds touch-and-go–but he probably doesn’t have any choice.

And that’s a wrap, folks, at least where the newsbits are concerned. We’ll get into some “what did we learn?” recapping later in the week, though.

Photo by Van Emst.

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