Don’t be surprised to see some Auburn football players practicing at 2 a.m. this summer. Defensive end Marlon Davidson has already seen it from some of his defensive teammates.
“They’ll wake up at 2 a.m. to go get some work, and I’ll be like, ‘Man, 2:00 in the morning? What are you doing work for?’ They’re hungry for success this year.”
This football team believes it will improve on its 8-5 record from last year, a season that began with high expectations which fell apart late in the season. Davidson still remembers the last-second loss to LSU.
“I was sick. We have a picture of how close we were to blocking the field goal. That tells me that you have to fight to end of the game.”
Davidson and his teammates are determined to be better this year.
“You’ve got to win the spring, and then you’ve got to win the summer, and then you’ve got to win the fall,” said offensive lineman Prince Tega Wanogho. “This team is planning to start strong.”
Wanogho said practices feel different now that head coach Gus Malzahn has taken back control of offensive play-calling.
“You can just tell going through practice, he’s more relaxed and himself,” Wanogho said. “He’s going around giving fist bumps.”
Wanogho said the defense is also doing their part in making him and his offensive linemen better.
“We are training against the best and they make you the best.”
Defensive tackle Derrick Brown said the goal is simple: play for a national championship.
“For anyone to sit here and say they don’t want to go to a national championship, they’re lying,” Brown said. “Everyone wants to be in that four-game playoff.”
Brown said achieving that goal requires one step at a time.
“The biggest challenge is for us to go out each week and, as coach always says, ‘be where your feet are,'” Brown said. “Even if they say you are No. 1, you still have to have that blue collar mentality. You got to look at it like you’re at the bottom and progress every week.”