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The 5 biggest winners from A-Day, including Cam Coleman

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AUBURN — Looking good on A-Day doesn't automatically mean an Auburn football player will be a star when the lights come on in the fall and the games really matter.

But it can't hurt to build some momentum.

The Tigers ended spring practice with an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday. The offense initially had problems in the 28:27 victory over the defense and was content with five field goals in a row before finally breaking it in the fourth quarter with a 39-yard throw from quarterback Payton Thorne to five-star receiver Cam Coleman Reached the end zone.

Kicker Towns McGough sank a 58-yarder on the final whistle to give the offense the lead for good.

Here are five offensive and defensive players – leaving out McGough – who looked their best at A-Day and are starting the summer in high spirits:

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WR Cam Coleman

First of all, it was obvious that there was no one more exciting than Coleman. The early recruit was targeted five times and caught four of those passes for 92 yards and a score. The attempt he failed to block may have been his best attempt, as he reached behind cornerback Colton Hood and nearly held on to the ball.

“He made a few MAs (missed assignments) today in the tight red zone on balls that we were hoping he would throw there,” coach Hugh Freeze said of Coleman. “That kind of got us in trouble and made us kick some field goals. That's up to us. We need to clean it up and make sure he knows the entire system and what he can do. But when he knows what to do, he's really, really talented.

S Jerrin Thompson

Texas transfer Jerrin Thompson played first-team defense all spring and earned Defensive MVP honors at A-Day. He finished the game with three tackles, including a sack that saved a touchdown.

“I love playing in this defense,” Thompson said. “…It's very DB friendly. We’re just being aggressive and letting our D-line work.”

WR Robert Lewis

Nothing would draw more positive attention than Coleman's 39-yard TD and 49-yard bomb early in the game, but a 40-yard pass from Thorne to Georgia State transfer Robert Lewis is a respectable third. Lewis, a 5-foot-10 receiver with inside and outside versatility, finished the game with 73 receiving yards and a game-high five catches.

“I think it’s getting there,” Thorne said of the passing offense as a whole. “I think we made progress here in the spring and I think things are moving in the direction we want 7 on 7, that will be controlled by the players.”

DL Bobby Jamison-Travis

Auburn needs players to step up on defense and that's exactly what Bobby Jamison-Travis has done. As a junior who spent the 2022 season at Iowa Western before transferring to the Tigers prior to the 2023 season, Jamison-Travis recorded three tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks.

“The biggest step I took was learning the plays,” Jamison-Travis said. “Last season I went to the games every now and then and didn’t really know them. This season the playbook is much simpler. I am learning. I'm coming.”

QB Payton Thorne

Thorne was the favorite to make the starting list at the start of the spring and is exiting the race the same way. He completed nine of his 13 passes on A-Day for 133 yards and a touchdown. Some fans may not want to see him again after last season's poor results, but he was the most consistent QB on the roster.

“I’ll have to watch the film to know 100%, but I felt pretty good about my decision making,” Thorne said. “I would like to have maybe a throwback. It wasn't even a really bad throw, it just could have been better. Maybe a few. But other than that I thought the decision making was good today.”

Richard Silva is the Auburn Athletics beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @rich_silva18.