In 2011, he sat out after suffering a foot injury in preseason camp. He ended up taking a redshirt, and during that time on the sideline, Coates says he was able to "get his mind right."
The sophomore said Saturday's performance -- which saw him catch four passes for 139 yards in a loss at LSU -- could be traced back to that redshirt season.
"Me going out Saturday making them plays, it was part of me getting my mind back into the game," Coates said.
The LSU contest was part of a broader breakout season for Coates, who leads Auburn in receiving yards (306) and is tied for first in receptions (11) and touchdowns (one). No player has been targeted more on deep passes from quarterback Nick Marshall, either.
ONSIDE KICK: Cody Parkey said Wednesday he was thrilled when Gus Malzahn called for one late in Saturday's game against LSU. Though it was initially ruled that Auburn recovered, the play was immediately reviewed. After viewing replays of the kick, officials said Parkey illegally touched the ball before it went 10 yards, giving the ball to LSU.
"When I kicked it I saw (the LSU player) coming right at me and I saw the 10 yards," he said. "Right when I saw the 10 yards, I grabbed it. I don't know. I thought I had it and it looked good on the replay and all the replays we saw, but apparently the refs thought otherwise."