Photo by Jason Caldwell

Four Football Freshman Earn Praise From Auburn Defensive Coach

Kevin Steele has praise for a quartet of true freshman defensive players for the Auburn football Tigers.

Derrick Brown (above) is a 6-4, 330-pound defensive tackle.

Auburn, Ala.--Four true freshman defensive players were singled out for praise on Thursday night by Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. The first-year AU coach made the comments following a two-hour, full pads workout.

“Going to the young guys, a guy like Daniel Thomas has shown sparks of being a guy that is emotionally and mentally mature,” the coach said. “We scrimmaged and he went into the stadium for the first time and it was not too big for him.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Daniel Thomas is an aggressive freshman from Montgomery.

“I use that as an example, but that’s kind of what we’re looking for in those young guys that have not played a whole lot is that when they get into those situations particularly over at the stadium it’s not too big for him.

“We’re teaching them to be mentally and physically mature, making sure that we are physical players and we are mental players as well.

“Then the other part is the emotional part of it, just when I make a mistake I have to play the next play. Putting that all together Derrick Brown is another guy that is starting to slow flashes from a young guy.”

Brown is a five-star defensive tackle who was a summer arrival, the same as Thomas, a lightly-recruited, three-star safety prospect from Robert E. Lee in Montgomery who got his scholarship offer from the Tigers on the morning of national signing day. Brown played at Lanier High in Buford, Ga., and was a U.S. Army All-American.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Marlon Davidson is shown during the A-Day Game.

“Of the guys that were here in the spring, obviously those guys like Marlon (freshman defensive end Marlon Davidson) and Tre (linebacker Tre Threat) are still are progressing. They have their bad moments, but I think the thing that is most encouraging about that is when they have their bad moments they play their next play with confidence.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Treat Threat is working at linebacker and on special teams this preseason after a solid spring.

“They don’t look at the ground, bad body language, those kinds of things, and let one mistake be two or three more mistakes because they’re thinking about something they shouldn’t be thinking about. We’re working on that really hard and made some progress with it.”

Davidson, who is from Greenville High, and Threat, who is from Class 6A state champion Spanish Fort, were early high school graduates. They were also both standouts in the Under Armour All-American game prior to enrolling at Auburn in January.

The Tigers will return to practice on Friday and have their second preseason scrimmage on Saturday.

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