Stanley McClover is shown in practice earlier this month.
Marquies Gunn, who had terrific spring, was pushing for a starting job this preseason before he went down with a hamstring problem, too. Gunn was working with the first team ahead of sophomore Quentin Groves, who also had a very strong spring rushing the passer.
Defensive ends coach Terry Price says that prior to going down with the injury, Gunn's play was one of the highlights of the preseason. However, he has been on the sidelines watching the action for more than a week, too, when not doing rehab workouts.
Gunn, who is up to 258 pounds, is being counted on to be effective stopping the run as well as rushing the quarterback.
The Tigers are planning to have their first preseason practice of the season at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sunday night because head coach Tommy Tuberville wants the team to become accustomed to the playing surface and the lights. Auburn's season opener on Sept. 3rd is a night home game vs. Georgia Tech.
"McClover, Groves and Gunn are very important parts of our defense," says Tuberville, who adds that how well the trio defends the run will go a long way toward determining AU's success this season.