May 1, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Auburn coach Gus Malzahn presented his subject-to-change depth chart Wednesday, saying his defense improved over the course of spring practice.
The full depth chart is here.
Malzahn also talked about players as he went down his list. Checking it twice, he didn't specifically name a starter or the backup. What did he say? He said the following about some defensive players, in the order he mentioned them:
• Defensive end Dee Ford: "I've talked about him before being a pass-rushing guy who can really put some pressure on the quarterback." Craig Sanders is also at the defensive end spot.
• Defensive end Ken Carter: "A guy that's played inside in the past. Very physical guy. He improved his pass rushing as the spring went on. Nosa Eguae also had a very solid spring."
"The thing that stands out to me is that those are all four older guys and they've got experience. That's a good thing," Malzahn said.
• Defensive tackles Jeff Whitaker and Ben Bradley: "Both those guys did a very good job. Ben, as the spring went on, you could see he improved greatly. That's what usually happens with the junior college guys."
• Defensive tackles Gabe Wright and Angelo Blackson: "Both of them are athletic and I really felt like improved. Up front, that's some veteran guys so we feel good about the foundation we have moving forward."
• Hybrid/Star safety Justin Garrett:
"You heard about him during the spring. We really felt like he was one of our more consistent guys."
• Outside linebackers: Cassanova McKinzy and JaViere Mitchell: "JaViere is a guy that coach really felt he came on. I kind of want to put in LaDarius Owens, too. Either or of those positions. You're talking about a guy that's played defensive end the last couple of years and is moving back to the back end and really came on."
• Cornerbacks Chris Davis and Ryan White: "Both those guys are veteran guys that understand what's going on."
• Cornerbacks Jonathon Mincy and Jonathan Jones: "Jonathan Jones, he's not a very big guy but he really laid some big hits. You saw him in the spring game. He made an outstanding hit. Mincy also had a very solid spring. A veteran guy, also."
• Free safety: Jermaine Whitehead and Ryan Smith: "Jermaine Whitehead was probably the safety that had just an excellent spring. Coaches were very high on him and really did a solid job, along with Ryan Smith."
• Boundary safety Josh Holsey, Trent Fisher and T.J. Davis: "Josh Holsey was a guy that was playing corner and transitioned that last week-or-so of practice to safety and came on really strong." On Fisher and Davis: "Both those guys did some solid things. T.J. is a young guy. Trent is a guy that played some last year and really came on with a good spring."
Check back for Malzahn's breakdown of the offense...
Follow Auburn on the Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine