Frost Feeling Strong On the Weak Side

Junior linebacker Kris Frost discusses his move to the weak side this spring and what he's seen out of the defense with a year in the system.

Auburn, Ala.--Fifth on the Auburn team in tackles in 2013 despite starting just one game at middle linebacker, junior Kris Frost is now one of the veterans for the Tigers on defense. With Cassanova McKinzy also back for Coach Ellis Johnson, Auburn has experimented by flipping the two with Frost moving from the middle to the weak side.

Still able to play both positions, Frost said the move has made both of their games stronger this spring because of their improved knowledge of the defense.

"He's doing really well," Frost said of McKinzy. "He's doing good with the checks and everything. He's given me feedback at will linebacker and I'm giving him feedback on middle linebacker. It's interchangeable. It wasn't that much of a jump. We are just making sure we know everything we are doing. He is doing great, though.

"I'm so comfortable that I can play mike and will," Frost added. "I'm really comfortable now with everything and being adjusted to playing college football, and playing at the level of the SEC, knowing the plays, being comfortable enough to actually teach guys like Khari (Harding) and be able to coach them up and help coach and make sure guys know where they're at as well as me knowing where I'm at."

Frost and McKinzy aren't the only players making a move at the linebacker position this spring as Khari Harding is working behind Frost on the weak side after playing safety last fall as a true freshman. A physical player, Harding is mostly shadowing the guys in front of him this spring trying to learn the spot, but Frost said he has already seen some good things from the Oklahoma native.

"He's got good body size to play linebacker," Frost said. "He's fast. He moves well from playing safety. His drops are really good. It's good seeing him there. We kind of get to learn from him as he learns from us. We're just glad to have him with our group."

Learning the defense is something Frost and the Tigers don't have to worry about this spring, unlike last year at this time. With a year in Johnson's system under their belts, Frost said it is allowing the defensive players to perform without thinking too much and just let things come naturally.

"We have an opportunity to be more aggressive now knowing where to be and just being so much more comfortable in our spots just being older, more experienced, because experience goes a long way," he said. "I'm really seeing that first-hand that experience goes a long way. Just being more aggressive and getting to the ball and tackling is a big thing we have really been working on."

Experience is a key for the linebackers, but their biggest ally may be a line that is filled with players who have been through battles in the SEC already. With Jeffrey Whitaker returning along with Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson and Ben Bradley as seniors, Auburn's defensive front has the maturity and talent to make life easier for the linebackers. Throw in guys like Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams and Elijah Daniel and Frost said you have a group this team believes in.

"The trust factor with our defensive line is very high," Frost said. "We trust in them and know they're going to do everything they can to get the job done. We're so much more comfortable with each other this year because everything just seems to coming together more."


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