Auburn, Ala.--A player who had 12 sacks and 29 quarterback hurries during at Spanish Fort High School, Auburn sophomore Tre Threat's move to the buck this spring wasn’t as much as position change for the 6-1, 243-pounder as it was about going back home.
Always comfortable coming off the edge of the defense and getting after the quarterback, Threat transitioned to a true linebacker position as a senior for the Toros and last year he did the same as a freshman on the Plains.
Now back to rushing the passer and playing on the edge at the line of scrimmage, Threat is showing he can bring some pop to the position for the Tigers said Auburn's defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele.
“He’s really practiced really good,” Steele said. “He’s a perfectionist. He is hard on himself. He’s as hard on himself as any coach would ever be because he is a perfectionist.
“He doesn’t want to disappoint his teammates, he doesn’t want to disappoint his coaches. He’s got a certain soul about him that kind of makes him fun to coach in that way, but that does make it hard when you’re growing because he’s so hard on himself."
Noting that the sophomore is "on track" to help the football Tigers this fall, Steele said, "He has got something about him. He brings something to the table. He is a good energy guy, he plays hard, he can set an edge, he’s powerful and he has a knack for pass-rush.”
With Carl Lawson moving on to the NFL, Auburn’s need for a edge rusher is still very much a work in progress. Returning junior Jeff Holland is the most experienced player at the buck position and big Nick Coe is also getting some work there as well, but Threat made some noise this spring and junior linebacker Darrell Williams believes it’s not a short-term role.
“From what I’ve seen he’s doing good and form the coaching standpoint he’s doing a good job with that transition,” Williams said. “I didn’t really see him in high school. They said that’s more the position he played in high school the stand up buck position. He’s a natural at that. I feel like he keeps working at that he could help us out.”
Defensive line coach Rodney Garner points out that Threat is a work in progress. "He has been able to give us some quality reps. Tre was an outside linebacker in high school. He played on the line of scrimmage, he did not play in the box. He has some comfort being at the end of the line of scrimmage."