July 30, 2006

Gran excited about potential of special teams

Auburn special teams coach Eddie Gran is expecting big things out of his units this year. And who can blame him with a senior placekicker and senior punter returning along with a talented group of return specialists to choose from.

It starts with kicker John Vaughn and punter Kody Bliss, both four-year starters. Both also signed with the Tigers in 2003 out of Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy.

Vaughn has made 30-of-45 career field goals including last year's game-winner at Georgia.

"I'm so excited about having two four-year guys and seniors back," said Gran. "They've worked hard this summer. John is kicking the ball better than I've ever seen him. He's very confident."

Bliss was recently named preseason first-team All-SEC after leading the conference with a 44.9 average last year. But Gran thinks he can be even better in 2006.

"Kody has been working on his hang time," said Gran. "Instead of being a 60-yard, 4.0 hang time, we're looking for more 45, 47 yards with a 4.9, 5.0 hang time. And that's what he's really getting into."

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