August 5, 2008

Auburn corners ready to step up

When one of your teammates goes down, the rest of the team has to step up.

That was the theme from Auburn's practice Tuesday, a day after starting cornerback Aairon Savage went down with a knee injury.

"Those things happen," said AU head coach Tommy Tuberville. "Guys have to step up. We're just going to call on another younger guy to have to make a few more plays and a little bit more contribution.

"You especially hate it for a guy that's worked as hard as Aairon. But he'll be fine. We'll be there with him, no matter what happens."

Tuberville did not reveal the extent of Savage's injury Tuesday, saying he will be further evaluated and possibly undergo surgery Wednesday in Birmingham.

Auburn, however, had to move on Tuesday without Savage. Juniors Jerraud Powers and Walter McFadden have a firm hold on the first-team spots now, but behind the experienced duo is sophomore Ryan Williams and a collection of true freshman.

Williams' status for this season, after he spent half of the summer at home, still remains a question mark. All Tuberville would say Tuesday was, "He's on the team," and "He's got to get out here and get after it."

The group of freshmen includes Neiko Thorpe, who got a lot of work with the first-team during the final 11-on-11 session Tuesday after Powers left early for a test, D'Antoine Hood, Harry Adams and Drew Cole, who is also getting reps at safety.

Thorpe said he was a little nervous working with the starters at first, but settled in just fine.

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