August 7, 2007

Freshmen defenders impress AU coaches

It's always difficult for a true freshman to step in and earn serious playing time at an SEC school. But Auburn freshman safety Mike McNeil is bucking that trend this fall.

One of AU's highest rated signees in the 2007 class, the Mobile, Ala., native entered preseason practice as the second-team free safety and has remained there through the first week of workouts, displaying his playmaking ability in Monday's morning practice.

"(McNeil) has no problem with coming up and hitting somebody," said AU head coach Tommy Tuberville. "That's one thing that you worry about, but he'll do that. He has great range.

"He made a great play today in the end zone knocking a play down."

McNeil is working behind sophomore Aairon Savage at free safety while senior Eric Brock and redshirt freshman Zac Etheridge have taken turns playing with the first-team at strong safety.

According to defensive coordinator and secondary coach Will Muschamp, all four should play this fall.

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