Tell me if you have heard this before?
The 2011 version of the Auburn Tigers are going to have to play better defensively to be able to compete within the Western Division of the SEC.
While I can't argue that there were not times when Auburn's 2010 defense didn't play very well, no one can argue that they weren't clutch under pressure. Every time Auburn needed to come up with a big defensive stand they somehow pulled it off. I don't know if my heart can take another year like we just had defensively, but it sure was exciting wasn't it?
We have already discussed the Linebackers, so this week we are going to discuss the Defensive backs, and where we think they will lead this unit.
There are those who strongly believe that the DB's are going to be much more talented in 2011, and therefore giving us a more evenly balanced defensive performance. If we go strictly by recruiting guru ratings that may indeed be the case, but it will be hard to argue against the likes of Zac Etheridge, Aairon Savage, and Demond Washington, who have moved on. Savage was recruited with some of the best talent to ever play at AU. That 2005 class was an amazing DB class. With the likes of Jonathan Wilhite, Jerraud Powes, and Walt McFadden
Since then though times had been hard on AU when it comes to true DB talent. For many reasons, since the 2006 recruiting class Auburn has had only 3 star Zac Etheridge, out of Troy, AL emerge as a real asset. Until Gene Chizik arrived back at the Plains, and started to turn that around.
The last two recruiting classes have seen a big boost in DB numbers and recruiting ratings. The talent is definitely at Auburn now, and it could not come at a better time. So, let's discuss this new and inexperienced talent.
After the jump...
Believe it or not, there are no less than 13 returning defensive backs listed on the official roster. Only two of which have any measurable playing time. T'Sharvan Bell and Neiko Thorpe. There are several who were able to contribute this past season, Mike McNeil, Chris Davis, Demetruce McNeal, Anthony Morgan, and the walk-on Ikeem Means. Most of these contributions were in the area of special teams play, until Savo got hurt and the quest to find a rotation got a lot tougher.
So, what does Auburn do with it's 2011 recruiting class? Coach Chizik and his remarkable staff go out and sign what is arguably the very best DB class in America. They are Erique Florence, Jermaine Whitehead, Jonathan Rose, Anthony Swain, and Robensen Therezie.
Total count brings our DB player list up to 18, which many would say is an awful lot, but if you consider that Ted Roof sometimes like to run the dime package, ie. 6 DB's on the field at one time, then that is just three deep. It may take that many bodies to bring Auburn's defensive numbers to where we are used to seeing them, DOMINANT!
In our discussion section below, tell me what you think about the recent signing class, and who will be the best DB in an Auburn Uniform next year.
Last week we crowned a new winner in our video contest. Stymo99 put away the two time winner Young IE. This week the competition gets a little stronger with another Iron Bowl showdown, this time last weeks champ goes up against WDE1121 and his Auburn vs. Bama radio comparison. Enjoy, and don't forget to vote.