Landrum Loving Life Back At Linebacker

Auburn sophomore Chris Landrum discusses his move back to linebacker and fighting for a job this spring.

Auburn, Ala.—There are a number of players happy about a new coaching staff coming to Auburn so they could have a second chance at success with the Tigers. One of the guys who is hoping it pays off in a big way in 2013 is linebacker Chris Landrum.

Signing as a linebacker out of Sweet Water High, Landrum redshirted in 2011 after recurring knee problems from his high school days hampered him that fall for the Tigers. Unable to make a move on the depth chart at linebacker early last fall, Landrum was moved to fullback as Auburn made the switch to the pro-style offense, but defense was always in his heart.

"I wasn't disappointed," Landrum says. "They asked me if there was any way I could help the team and I said I'd help the team.

"I'm a lot more comfortable on defense," he adds. "I love it. I'd rather hit somebody than be hit."

Recruited out of high school by Ellis Johnson, Landrum says he was excited when he heard the news the veteran coach was headed to Auburn. Learning the new defense on the run while also shaking the rust off back on defense, the redshirt sophomore says so far things have gone very smoothly for him.

"Coach Johnson is a really good teacher," Landrum notes. "When he says it, he puts it in a way we can get it and understand it. It comes real easy coming from him.

"He's hard-nosed, but when it comes to teaching he understands that you've got to teach people. He's a great teacher of the game."

At 6-3, 240, pounds Landrum has lost 10 pounds since last season now that he's back on the defensive side of the ball and hopes to get down to 235 by the time the season starts in August against Washington State. Currently in the second-team rotation with Anthony Swain and LaDarius Owens, Landrum believes he's getting a pretty good grasp on the new defense early in the spring.

"It's a lot more physical -- especially the two inside linebackers," Landrum says. "We're doing a lot of run fits and we have to come downhill a lot. We have to work on doing that a lot more.

"He (Johnson) talked about that after practice," Landrum adds on playing more downhill at the position. "We've got to do a much better job at that. We've got time. I'm pretty sure he'll take care of it."

Currently working at both linebacker positions for the Tigers in a cross-training role, Landrum is hoping that pays off for him down the road when it comes time for Auburn to hit the field. A smart player that is hungry to show what he can do, Landrum says all he's shooting for is a shot.

"It's just ramped things up more, made the competition stiffer," Landrum says of the competition for spots at linebacker. "You have to be prepared every day and know that all the jobs are up for grabs."


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