Payton Thorne, Hugh Freeze on the impact of Auburn football's new wide receivers

Quarterback Payton Thorne and head coach Hugh Freeze talk about the impact of the Tigers' revamped wide receiver corps.

Cam Coleman is interviewed as he signed to play football with Auburn University at Central High
Cam Coleman is interviewed as he signed to play football with Auburn University at Central High / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Quarterback Payton Thorne and head coach Hugh Freeze talk about the impact of the Tigers' revamped wide receiver corps

For the last few years, the Auburn football program has struggled to maintain consistent production from the wide receivers room. It's been awhile since a pass-catcher in orange and blue has established himself as the go-to guy, but the Tigers are hoping that changes in the 2024 season.

With the firing of former offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, head coach Hugh Freeze is determined to return to his style of offense, which he describes as an RPO-driven run game with play-action passes, according to Auburn Rivals, which will call for receivers who can win one on one battles on the field.

So far, the difference in this year's wide receivers group is immediately noticeable according to returning quarterback Payton Thorne.

“Yes. Quite a bit. Absolutely,” said quarterback Payton Thorne on AU’s receivers performing better in 1-on-1 drills. “I’m really excited. We’ve run some 1-on-1’s in the winter and we’ve seen some good stuff.

“Even just running routes on air, these guys have great body control, good hands, understand how to high-point the ball.”

Freeze noted that the biggest difference maker throughout spring practice so far has been 5-star Cam Coleman, the most highly-ranked signee in the Tigers' recruiting class of 2024. As an early enrollee, Coleman has already been putting in work with the team, and Freeze expects him to make an impact even as a true freshman.

“Cam Coleman just makes us look different,” said Freeze. “Can’t tell you how excited I am about him. I don’t want to put too much expectations on him as a freshman, but man, when you watch him run around out there, we’ve improved ourselves.

“He’s naturally gifted. I expect him to play as a freshman. How well is he going to do as a freshman? We’ve had one practice, so it’s really hard to say. But boy, he’s talented and smooth and tracks the ball as well as any that I’ve seen.”

Auburn football is on an off week for spring break, but will return to action when spring practice resumes next Tuesday.