Photo by Jason Caldwell

Five Auburn Football Defensive Players Who Improved In Spring Drills

Taking a look at five players who helped themselves in a big way during spring practice for the Auburn Tigers.

Freshman defensive lineman Marlon Davidson (pictured above) had a big spring for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers have wrapped up spring practices with Coach Gus Malzahn’s team looking for playmakers on both sides of the ball. Taking over the defense for the first time after moving to Auburn from LSU, veteran Coach Kevin Steele has plenty of veterans to work with such as Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams and Johnathan Ford, but at every level of the defense the Tigers needed some players to step up in the spring.

With that in mind we look at five players who not only helped themselves in the spring, but should be able to help Auburn when the Tigers take the field in the fall.

Even though he’s just a true freshman and should still be at Greenville High School, there is no question that Marlon Davidson made as much impact as any newcomer on the roster this spring. Quickly working his way into the rotation with the first-team defense, Davidson’s physical skills are apparent, but his work ethic and mature approach to the game have made him a player the Tigers will count on heavily this season.

While Maurice Swain still may not be a starter for the Tigers there is no question he took some big steps forward this spring after an up-and-down junior season. Now trimmer and much quicker, Swain made several big plays in Saturday’s A-Day game and should give Auburn another player up front they can count on. When you factor in Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Dontavius Russell, the Tigers look to be in good shape at defensive tackle.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Maurice Swain has gotten more explosive after trimming down.

Perhaps no player on the entire roster changed the outlook of his career more than DeShaun Davis did this spring. Not in the plans for the former staff, Davis comes out of the spring as solidly in the plans for Coach Travis Williams at linebacker. Even though he’s not the most physically gifted player on the roster, Davis’ knowledge of the game and willingness to play tough makes him a linebacker to count on.

Playing almost exclusively special teams a year ago, sophomore linebacker Darrell Williams is probably the most gifted of Auburn’s linebackers in terms of the combination of size, speed and athleticism. At around 225 pounds but with the quickness to play off the edge and even in coverage, Williams made play after play in the Saturday’s A-Day game and that could be a sign of things to come for him.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

DeShaun Davis with a form tackle in Saturday's game.

Much like Davis, sophomore safety Markell Boston has gone from nowhere land on the Auburn defense to a player that could be in the mix for playing time in the fall. One of the last players to get an offer in his signing class, Boston was more of a wide receiver coming out of high school and even considered making a move to that position this spring. Instead he showed a lot of promise for Coach Wesley McGriff and should be a contributor for the Tigers next season.

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