White, Holland Enjoying Chizik As LB Coach

Auburn linebackers Jawara White and Jake Holland talk about Gene Chizik the position coach.

Auburn, Ala.—For Auburn's linebackers this bowl practice will be one they never forget. Losing position coach and defensive coordinator Ted Roof to Central Florida, the group is under the watchful eye of Coach Gene Chizik as the Tigers prepare to face Virginia in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Sophomore Jake Holland said so far and so very good with Chizik as his coach.

"He's doing great," Holland said. "I'm learning a lot fundamentally and it's really helping my game play.

"He's really intense," he added. "That's the style of coaching I like. A lot of one-on-one coaching and that's really helping me."

Jake Holland

Fellow linebacker Jawara White backed up the sentiments from Holland. As a redshirt freshman White has made some serious strides on the field this year and he said having Chizik on the field and in the meeting room should only help him become better.

It's fun. He's a hard-nosed coach and he stays on us," White said. "It's a little bit different as far as him actually participating in the individual stuff. It feels kind of weird having him in the linebacker room."

One of the things Chizik's defenses have always been known for is being hard-nosed and physical. That's something the young Tigers struggled with at times in 2011, but Holland said they have hit the ground running in bowl practice and he likes the direction they've taken.

"There are a few little tweaks here and there with the style in practice," Holland said. "Earlier in practice, there is a lot more hitting, physical stuff going on. It's really helping us as far as getting mentally prepared for the game."

Pushing for win number eight this season and number 30 in three years under Chizik, Auburn will have its hands full against a solid Virginia team on New Year's Eve. With only two seniors on defense (Eltoro Freeman and Neiko Thorpe) the future is now for the Tigers and White said getting another win would be huge for them heading into 2011.

"That would mean a lot because I feel like as a linebacker, with Coach Chiz coaching us, we are a reflection of what he puts on the field," White said. "We got to do everything he tells us to do to make sure. He's coaching us the way the way we're supposed to be coach. He's doing everything for us, we just have to go out and do it and execute."

Holland video:

White video:

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