Therezie Looking For Breakout Spring

Auburn junior Robenson Therezie discusses spring practice getting underway for the Tigers and what he's expecting his role to be.

Auburn, Ala.—A highly-recruited prospect out of South Florida that was a star at defensive back and running back in high school, junior Robenson Therezie is one of many Auburn Tigers looking to have a breakout spring for a new coaching staff.

Playing in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2011, Therezie made 17 tackles and also returned five kickoffs for 112 yards as he had a significant role on special teams. Expected to take on an even bigger role last season, the 5-9, 202-pounder instead saw his minutes and impact decrease even as Auburn's defense struggled to slow down anyone.

Playing in 10 games in 2012, Therezie made just three tackles and was never able to find a home under the direction of Brian VanGorder. With a new staff at Auburn and the chance to start fresh, Therezie says it was great to just get back on the field and start putting the memories from a bad year behind them.

"Getting out there for the first day of practice was – we were waiting for a long time," he notes. "I know other teams started before us. We had to get stronger in the weight room. It was pretty fun just to get back to playing football."

It was very hard for us after we had a bad season," Therezie adds. "We had a few players wanting that opportunity to get back to that 2010 season. It was very bad. We worked out and worked out, trying to get that edge back."

The first order of business for Therezie is where to line up this spring. A versatile player that could play cornerback, safety and possibly even the Star position on defense, he's also speedy enough to play offense in the speed-back role for the Tigers. He says that while defense is where he feels like home, if he's called on to run the ball then he's ready to roll.

"Yeah I feel like I'm a defensive back and I'm fine towards that position," Therezie says. "I would say I'm part-time on offense. It will be a possibility. I spoke with Coach Malzahn and it seems like a plan. I won't mind at all playing (Onterio's) position."

While he enjoys touching the football, Therezie says his favorite part of the game is hitting and being physical on defense. That's something he's hoping to show this spring as he gets a chance to work with Coach Melvin Smith at cornerback.

"I believe I'm going to be a cornerback and probably a boundary cornerback. I'm the type of guy to stop the run first," Therezie notes. "I have improved my cover skills and the boundary corner is my position and it fits what type of player I am."

At that position he'll get lots of opportunities to work with Smith and get a feel for what the former Mississippi State assistant can bring to the job at Auburn. Just one practice in Therezie says he sees some really good things from the veteran coach and is excited about what the future holds for him and the Tigers.

"Coach Smith is a straight-forward guy," Therezie says. "He tells you what he doesn't like and does like and he's more of an attitude guy. He's very cool and I'm going to learn a lot from him.

"The type of guy he is, he makes us laugh. When we do have some assignments to do, like let's say blitz, he'll be like ‘hit ‘em in the head.' He's a very funny guy. He's aggressive, the way he screams at us and all that stuff. I'm surprised for a 50-year old man he can still do all those things."

Auburn gets back on the practice field Friday morning for the second of 15 practice days this spring.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories