Young Defensive Linemen Have Opportunity to Play

T.J. Jackson gives his views on Auburn's young defensive linemen.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Jackson says he believes some of the young defensive linemen who were spectators on opening night could be able to help the Auburn defensive front in game two.

Jackson's former high school teammate, sophomore Tez Doolittle, could see some action at noseguard this week as a backup to Jackson with Josh Thompson less than full speed recovering from an ankle sprain.

Defensive line coach Don Dunn says he may also play redshirt freshman Pat Sims at defensive tackle or true freshman Sen'Derrick Marks at tackle as the Tigers take on Mississippi State.

"Tez has made a huge improvement," Jackson says. "He is coming off the ball pretty good and staying in his gap. That is going to help us out a lot.

"I think Sen'Derrick can help us out a lot, too," says Jackson, a senior who played 65 snaps at noseguard in the opener.

"I believe he is going to be a great football player before he leaves here," Jackson predicts. "He has real good football instincts. Once Yox (strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall) gets him in the program and works with him Sen'Derrick is going to be the guy.

Sen'Derrick Marks won praise from Coach Tommy Tuberville for his play preseason practices.

"Sen'Derrick wants to learn," Jackson adds. "He asks me and Wayne (senior defensive tackle Wayne Dickens) all the time what he can do to get better."

Jackson says he can also see more urgency from Sims about doing what it takes to be preparted to contribute in a game, especially with Thompson not full speed.

"The young guys getting ready to play is something that has to happen," Jackson says. "Once they begin contributing in the games that is something that is going to help us out as a unit."

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