"Fight and effort," Whitaker said. "We've got the hand placement and the steps and all that. It's more about just having pride. You've got to be willing to fight and have great effort. I think we have a lot of that going on."
Whitaker on if the team is hungry after winning the BCS Championship last year:
"We're very hungry," Whitaker said. "This team is a hungry team. Coach (Gene) Chizik uses the phrase ‘we know what great looks like'. I would say we're hungrier this year than last year because we know what it looks like, we're the defending national champions, and everybody is saying we can't do it.
"When you get a group of talented young guys and you tell them they can't do anything right when they're working hard and practicing hard and buying into what we do at Auburn, I'm going to take that group against a lot of people. We came out last year and a lot of people doubted us. One thing I learned last year is that what people say doesn't matter. It's all about what you do and the effort and hard work you put into it."
Jawara White rushing the kicker on special teams
Auburn redshirt freshman LB Jawara White on being back on the practice field after his neck injury last season:
"I just try to take each day as a blessing," White said. "I feel great to be out there again. My mom reminds me each and every day that it's a blessing and a gift to be able to wake up each morning and do what I do and to be able to have teammates and coaches and family supporting me the way that I do." White on whether or not he thinks about his injury on the field:
"I really don't," White said. "LaDarius Owens, me and him are like brothers, he told me that if God didn't want me to be out there then I wouldn't be out there so there's no need to think about it. If I didn't feel like it was safe I wouldn't be out there."