SEC: Dontae Aycock

Lunchtime links: Phillips acing transition test

May, 24, 2010
Making the rounds on a Monday in the SEC:

Door opens even wider for Auburn's Dyer

May, 21, 2010
The opportunity next season for heralded freshman running back Michael Dyer just got a little bigger.

Auburn on Friday dismissed redshirt freshman running back Dontae Aycock, who was expected to be part of the rotation in the fall. Aycock was booted for an undisclosed violation of team rules, according to the university.

Senior Mario Fannin heads into preseason practice as the starter at tailback, and sophomore Onterio McCalebb will also play a role as the Tigers' speed option in the backfield. But with Aycock now gone, the door is wide open for Dyer to come in and get significant carries as a freshman, especially if he's as good as everybody on the Plains thinks he is.

Aycock, a quarterback in high school, is the second member of the Tigers' 2009 signing class to leave the program in the last week. Quarterback Tyrik Rollison was formally given his release earlier in the week and plans to transfer to Sam Houston State.

Auburn to practice in the mornings

February, 23, 2010
One change Auburn coach Gene Chizik plans to make this spring is the Tigers will practice in the mornings. They held most of their practices during his first spring in the evenings.

The tentative start date for Auburn's spring practice is now March 24.

Obviously, one of the big storylines this spring on the Plains will be the quarterback competition. Junior college newcomer Cameron Newton, who started his career at Florida, is probably the guy to beat. But Chizik said Newton would start dead even with the rest of the guys and that nobody was putting any pressure on Newton to come in and be a superstar right away.

The other junior college newcomer who could make an immediate impact is offensive tackle Roszell Gayden, who signed in December and will go through spring practice. The Tigers are pretty set right now everywhere on their offensive line but right tackle, which is where Gayden could be a factor.

Sophomore safety Daren Bates, coming off shoulder surgery, will be limited for the spring and likely held out of most of the full contact work. Aairon Savage, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, will work at both cornerback and safety this spring.

Top running back signee Michael Dyer won't be on campus until the summer, which means senior Mario Fannin has a big opportunity to show this spring what he can do at running back. Fannin has moved around from slot, to receiver, to running back the last couple of years.

The guy who may replace Fannin in that multi-purpose role is redshirt freshman Dontae Aycock, who was a quarterback in high school. He rushed for 28 touchdowns his senior year, and Chizik said the Tigers want to try him out at a couple of different spots to utilize his skills in the open field.