Green's Move May Be Golden for Young Lineman

Auburn, Ala.--The preseason experiment moving redshirt freshman Tyronne Green from the defensive front to offensive guard looks like it will be a permanent move.

Tommy Tuberville says he likes what he has seen in the first week of practice. "Tyronne is doing well," Auburn's head football coach says. "He looks like he has found a home.

"He can actually carry the weight he is carrying and still play, something he couldn't do on the defensive line," Tuberville adds. "It is good to see him running around out there and making some blocks. He is going to be a good player, but he just has a lot to learn."

Green, who is 6-3, 310 pounds out of Woodham High in Pensacola, Fla., agrees with his head coach. "I really need to work on everything," the lineman says. "I do think my pass blocking has gotten a lot better. My biggest problem right now is my run blocking."

Offensive line coach Hugh Nall is upbeat about the move, too. "It shocks me how much football savvy he seems to have," the veteran coach says. "I have not worked with him very much fundamentally. I have talked to him and showed him some things and he has really gotten better.

"Tyronne is a smart kid who listens well," Nall adds. "He watches the other guys and sees them doing something and learns from that.

"What he has been doing on the pass rush drills has been very impressive," Nall notes. "We just have to continue to teach him so he will know what to do all of the time and then start getting him into the two-deep rotation."

Tyronne Green is shown in his first full pads practice as an offensive lineman.

The lineman, who got looks at both tackle and noseguard on defense, says the move to offense has been interesting. "It has been a great start," says Green, who was a three-year starter in football and basketball in high school.

"I am a young player and I have played defense all of my life. I am trying to get into the flow of things--learn the plays and the blocking schemes. Coach Nall is doing a good job of teaching me. My first time actually doing it in team (11 on 11) I was kind of shaky and lost. Hopefully, I will pick it up."

First team guard Timmy Duckworth made the successful transition from the defensive line to offensive guard last year. He has given the redshirt freshman some advice.

"I was just telling him to be humble just like they told me," Duckworth says. "He has got good footwork and that is going to help him out a lot because that is what offensive line is all about--having good footwork.

"You also have to be controlled and stuff, too," says Duckworth, who is having a good preseason. "I'm trying to help him out with that because he's still got that defensive mentality so he wants to attack all of the time."

Green agrees with Duckworth. "On the defensive line you are aggressive," Green notes. "You are sort of trying to play with out of control anger. On the offensive line you have got to be more relaxed, more controlled and it is not all about technique."

Green leads running back Tristan Davis into the hole during a recent practice.

Green says he is glad the coaches asked him to try offensive guard. "I think it was a great move. I think I might actually have a chance to play once I pick everything up."

Defensive line coach Don Dunn says he is glad the move is working out for Green. "He is a great kid and I am happy for him," Dunn says. "He had such bad luck last year. He came in out of shape after having nose surgery last summer. He is going to help our football team.

"We felt moving him to offense was the best thing for our team," Dunn adds. "I think he is going to be a heck of an offensive lineman because he is naturally strong as a bull. He kicked our butts in Saturday's practice."

"Green says that his teammates on the defensive front have been supportive and have not given him any grief about going over to the other side. "They have been looking at me in the pass block drills and are saying it looks like I am doing pretty good," he says with a smile. "They have actually congratulated me and told me it looks like a great move for me. I thought so, too."
Nall says he is looking forward to watching Green learn more about the position. "I am excited about him," the line coach says. "Once he gets used to the numbering system and the communication, I think he will be a really good guard."

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