Auburn early enrollees eager for A-Day: ‘An opportunity to learn’

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(Austin Perryman/AU Athletics)

AUBURN, Ala.  Between the weight room and training table, Auburn freshman receivers Cam Coleman and Bryce Cain are readying for the rigors of Southeastern Conference football.

The early enrollees see the return on investment of time spent at Auburn University’s Wellness Kitchen and the Creel Family Player Development Lab each time they step on the scale.

Coleman says he’s added nine pounds to his 6-3 frame since arriving nearly three months ago to now weigh 198 pounds.

“He can go get that ball,” Cain said of his fellow freshman. “The way you see him play in high school is crazy and him coming to college in the SEC and doing the same thing, it surprises and amazes me. I know a lot of people want to grow up to be like him.”

Cain’s gains are even more substantial. Arriving in January at 153 pounds, the 5-foot-10 speedster is already up to 168, without compromising his signature attribute.

“Speed,” said Coleman, after whistling in admiration. “That joker can run. He’s probably the fastest person we have right now. He’s blazing past defenders. There’s nothing he can’t do.”

The added bulk should help Cain navigate his first SEC season, should he find himself in the slot.

“You’ve got to know how to take the hits and be confident you can go through the middle and show what you’ve got,” Cain said.

AUBURN, AL - February 29, 2024 - Auburn Wide Receiver Bryce Cain (#6) during spring practice at the Woltosz Football Performance Center in Auburn, AL.Photo by Austin Perryman
‘That joker can run’: Bryce Cain’s speed impresses fellow freshman WR Cam Coleman

Enrolling early gave Coleman and Cain a head start on learning the offense and adjusting to college.

Saturday’s A-Day game will be Auburn fans’ first chance to see the pair of heavily recruited in-state receivers. Fellow freshmen Perry Thompson and Malcolm Simmons  will join them on the Plains this summer.

“To see where I’m at and what I can improve on before the season comes,” Coleman said. “An opportunity to learn how to operate.”

Another early enrollee, defensive lineman Malik Blocton, has spent many a Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium watching his older brother, former Tiger standout Marcus Harris. On A-Day, it’s Marcus’ turn to watch Malik compete on Pat Dye Field.

“A chance to show what I can do against some of the best of the best,” Blocton said.

Blocton and edge rusher Joe Phillips were among the incoming Tigers who benefited from participating during Auburn’s Music City Bowl practices.

“It’s going to be a good experience,” said the 6-2, 240-pound Phillips of A-Day. “I’m excited to see how it is, playing a down of college football.”

It’s not just the freshmen who are eager for A-Day, which kicks off at 1 p.m. CT on April 6.

“Definitely excited,” said junior defensive lineman Gage Keys, who transferred from Kansas. “A fun day for sure. I’ve heard it’s a good experience so I’m looking forward to being able to see that for myself.”

“Everybody knows being in Jordan-Hare is a wild experience,” linebacker Austin Keys said. “Every chance I get, I’m going to compete with my teammates and have fun out there. A-Day is another chance to do what I love so I’m going to conquer it.”