Auburn, Ala.--With the losses of Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Maurice Swain in the middle of the defensive line, the Auburn Tigers need several players to step up in order to give Coach Rodney Garner the rotation he’s looking for this season.
One of the guys who has taken a step forward this spring is junior Byron Cowart.
Playing defensive end his first two seasons for the Tigers, Cowart moved inside to tackle to start spring practice and has turned his play up several notches, according to his teammates. Seeing him up close and personal every day, Marlon Davidson said this No. 9 is a changed player.
“A different Byron,” Davidson said of what he’s seen. “That’s all I’m going to say--he’s a different Byron. Byron has come a long way and every day he has taken a step forward, every day. He always tells me every day, 'Come on, baby, we got em.' He’s got that swag about him now, and he’s looking great.”
Someone else who has seen the swag from Cowart is linebacker Darrell Williams. Coming in with Cowart as a freshman, the Hoover native said he is seen the defensive lineman continue to work harder and get bigger and stronger. Those are things that he believes will make him a success on the interior of Auburn’s defense.
“I feel like the move he made is a good move for his career moving from end to tackle,” Williams said. “That’s going to cause a lot of mismatches on the inside. I feel like a lot of that, playing with more swag, is him feeling a little better as far as playing on the field. I feel like that’s where it’s coming from.”
With Cowart focusing on playing inside, Davidson said he’s seen the junior really step up and that’s not a surprise now that he’s able to concentrate on one spot.
“You know just like playing on the end is a transition,” Davidson said. “How to take on blocks, how to do this, learning plays, it’s just different man.”