Editor’s Note: It’s a crucial year in Auburn. Gus Malzahn enters his fourth season in a bit of a rut, but he has proven he can quickly change the trajectory of the program when his team’s back is against the wall.
Auburn needs to find a quarterback, develop receivers and lean on a defense many expect to be much improved under coordinator Kevin Steele. Will all of the pieces come together in time for a successful season?
SEC Country takes a look at the 25 Most Important Tigers (and others) who will determine whether Auburn’s season is a success or failure.
25. Josh Holsey, cornerback/safety
Two catastrophic knee injuries in two years are not slowing down Josh Holsey.
Don’t be surprised if Holsey, the most versatile player on Auburn’s defense, nails down a starting job and has a breakout season in his final year with the Tigers.
He tore an anterior cruciate ligament in Week 2 last season, missed spring practices and was recently cleared to participate in offseason workouts.
“He was really close where he could run 40s the day we did (April 28),” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We decided not to, but I’m really hoping for Josh. That’s a story that he’s had two ACL injuries and I’m really hoping for him he comes back healthy because he can really help us.”
Holsey also tore an ACL the Thursday before Auburn traveled to Texas A&M in 2013.
If he returns full speed, he’ll be a huge addition in the secondary, where there are some question marks, especially at cornerback.
“We’ll get him in the best position where he’s comfortable to help us win football games whether it’s inside or outside, but we don’t want to be premature with that decision until he gets out there and I can lay eyes on him,” secondary coach Wes McGriff said in March.
Coming Tuesday: Auburn’s Kryptonite