MOBILE, Ala. – Just two weeks ago the Auburn Tigers and Florida State Seminoles were battling it out at the Rose Bowl for the last ever BCS national championship, and now players from both teams happen to be on the same side.
Four FSU players – safety Terrence Brooks, inside linebacker Christian Jones, outside linebacker Telvin Smith and center Bryan Stork – are practicing all week alongside four Auburn players – cornerback Chris Davis, defensive end Dee Ford, kicker Cody Parkey and fullback Jay Prosch. For those Seminoles, the warm feeling of their 34-31 come-from-behind win still exists, while the sting of the loss for the Tigers also remains, but they are coexisting together so far just fine.
“It’s all love,” Jones said. “When you’re on the field it’s a battle but we’re training down south with Dee Ford and we’ve built up a relationship. We’re all close. We eat together and we hang out together at the hotel so it’s not a hate thing. We were just happy to be in the game together, we competed and not a lot of people play in the national championship so we’re just happy that we were able to experience that.”
Of course it’s a little easier when you wind up on the winning side in a game of that magnitude, but for Davis, he appears to have gotten over the loss better than some of the Alabama players have over their loss to his Tigers in the Iron Bowl rivalry game. He holds no ill will towards the FSU players.
“It’s always a good opportunity to meet new people, especially ones that you just went to battle with for the national championship game,” said Davis, whose 100-plus yard return of an Alabama missed field goal as time expired shocked the Crimson Tide and the nation. “So we sat and joked about a little bit but there was a lot of talent on that field that’s here now and as a competitor you like those kind of opportunities to go against the best of the best. I’m just trying to catch the eye of some scouts this week.”
So now these players have a common goal, which is beat the North on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and raise their draft stock.
DOLPHINS OC PRAISED BY FORMER PLAYER
New Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has a big fan armed with a ringing endorsement playing this week for his shot at the NFL in Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses. And when he towers over people at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, it’s good advice to listen.
Moses played for Lazor in college when Lazor was his offensive coordinator with the Cavaliers his first three years from 2010-12 before joining the Philadelphia Eagles last season as their quarterbacks coach. Moses loved the system Lazor ran and how it helped him develop.
“I definitely enjoyed playing behind Coach Lazor. He’s a tackle’s dream,” Moses said. “The way he put the tackles in space, we pulled a lot into the corners and into the safeties, for a guy like myself that doesn’t get the ball, to be able to run around and showcase a little bit of the athleticism that I have was definitely fun. He had a fire and he definitely jumped into us a couple of times, but playing for Coach Lazor was great. He’s a great person.”
THIS AND THAT
Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith of the South Team opened some eyes and made some jaws drop during one-on-one pass rushing drills in the end zone going against the big offensive linemen. He blew past just about every tackle coming around the edge on both sides and did the same to the guards on the inside, showing incredible speed, quickness and strength. The only lineman that was able to somewhat neutralize Smith was Virginia tackle Morgan Moses, who at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds held a significant size advantage over the 6-1, 266-pound North Carolina native. … Former Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter is in town and was sporting his Colorado State sweatshirt in honor of his college alma mater. The four-time Pro Bowler caught up with the head coach of the first team he played for, Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh Steelers. … Even though Alabama’s own A.J. McCarron declined his invitation to the game, there still was a quarterback on the South that drew a crowd of reporters after practice. Fresno State’s Derek Carr held court on the field in the middle of a large circle of cameras, microphones and notebooks, though not quite as large as the one that surrounded Tim Tebow four years ago.
QUOTE OF THE DAY