AUBURN, Ala. — Greg Brown may have had questions about the faces in his new meeting room when he was hired as Auburn’s defensive backs coach in early January.
Perhaps Brown, preparing for his 37th year of coaching, wondered which players had the most experience or which young corners had the most upside.
Though he won’t be sitting in the meeting room this fall, outgoing Tiger Josh Holsey probably answered all inquiries or eased any of Brown’s concerns with a strong message ahead of Auburn’s pro day.
“I like everybody in the secondary,” Holsey said. “That room, I was talking to the new DB coach the other day I told him he walked into a great room. He walked into a room full of diamonds and all he’s going to do is make them shine. He’s going to make them better than what they already are because just the work we’ve put in, and those guys are already — they came in talented, each one of them.”
When Holsey says every single person, he means it — even when pressed, he refused to name just one player.
“That whole room,” Holsey said. “It’s hard to just pick one guy because if I say one guy I’m going to say another one. So I’m just going to say that whole room because everyone of those guys is going to be great.”
Brown has reason to trust Holsey. After all, during Holsey’s senior season in 2016 the veteran played several positions, totaling 30 tackles, defending 10 passes and intercepting three passes. But stats and accolades also support the former Tiger’s strong review.
Stephen Roberts, Nick Ruffin and Tray Matthews (who led the team in tackles last year) will be seniors. Carlton Davis was an All-SEC third-team selection while freshman Javaris Davis was named to the SEC All-Freshman squad. Soon-to-be sophomore Marlon Character has received rave reviews from teammates this spring and a group of Tigers, including Jeremiah Dinson, Jamel Dean, and Jayvaughn Myers will be back after suffering season-ending injuries.
SPRING PRACTICE: Dinson’s return from devastating injuries shouldn’t surprise anyone
Auburn finished the year sixth in passes defended (80) and third in pass breakups (69). Still, while Holsey and Rudy Ford are NFL-bound, Holsey has higher expectations for the group that takes the field this fall.
“They’ll probably have the best secondary Auburn’s had in a really long time this upcoming year,” Holsey said. “I truly think that. Even with me being gone, with everything we lost I still think that’s going to be the best room they’ve had in a long time.”