Earlier in Gus Malzahn’s tenure, the sophomore quarterback — who is the de-facto No. 1 for Auburn this spring as
Jarrett Stidham recovers from shoulder surgery — wouldn’t have been able to spend his spring break that way. Malzahn
kept his quarterbacks from working with outside coaches for the first few years of his Auburn career.
That changed last season, when new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey allowed Stidham and Willis to work
with private coaches.
A year later, Malzahn sounds fully convinced that the outside training is a good idea.
“Very rarely will you see anybody on their spring break putting in that kind of time,” Malzahn said Thursday.
“So I would say that’s a big-time positive. It really shows the importance that [Willis] has. To be honest with
you, I was pretty encouraged with it.”
Willis primarily was a rushing threat last season for Auburn whenever he got into games, carrying the ball 16 times for
221 yards and a touchdown.
But the extra practice he’s getting as a passer is showing on the Plains.
“I think he’s balanced,” Craig-Myers said. “Probably freshman year, yeah, he was a runner. But now, he’s
learning the offense. He’s worked on a lot of things. Now, he’s finally stepping into [being] a different guy.”