Powers Looking To Impress Coaches This Spring

Freshman defensive back Jerraud Powers talks about being on the field in the spring and new coordinator Will Muschamp.

Auburn, Ala.--Jerraud Powers has always been the center of attention since he first started playing sports in his hometown of Decatur. Whether it was football, basketball or baseball, Powers was usually the one making the play when his team needed it the most.

That is what made last season so difficult for the freshman cornerback. Already redshirting, Powers broke a bone in his foot early in the football season and spent much of the year off the field. Now back healthy again, Powers has been impressive through two practice days under new coach Will Muschamp and says that he's really enjoying the things they're adding to the defense every day.

"The first couple of days have been pretty good," Powers says. "Coach Muschamp is new and he's teaching a new philosophy that we've got to learn, but everybody is starting to pick it up a little bit. We're just happy to be out there running around.

"I think I'm doing all right," Powers adds. "I'm picking up the defense pretty good. I know I still have to get better in a lot of areas like jumping routes quicker when I notice them. Other than that it's going pretty good."

Powers has shown a knack for tight coverage already this spring.

Listed on the depth chart as the number three cornerback on the right side behind Jonathan Wilhite and Montae Pitts, the 5-9, 184 Powers moved to the left side for Tuesday's second spring practice and ran with the first-team with David Irons sitting out of practice with academic priorities coming first. Powers says that the experience gave him a good chance to learn the defense quicker because he was working with Auburn's top players side by side.

"When we came in I moved up and started working with the ones," Powers says. "It's fun to be out there because I haven't played in Jordan-Hare yet and I'm out there with Will Herring and Karibi Dede and those guys who have played their career in Jordan-Hare. It's just fun to be out there communicating when them and running around. It's going pretty good."

When talking with Powers it's easy to tell that he has a lot of respect for his new coach and the way he does things on and off the field. Known for being very energetic on the field and also a strict teacher of the game when it comes to executing fundamentals, Muschamp has been very vocal with his defensive backs and Powers says that's just one of the things he likes about his new coordinator.

"Through the first two days and the few weeks we've known him, I think he's the type that doesn't hold favorites," Powers says. "He's going to coach you hard on the field no matter what. If you do wrong he's going to let you know you did wrong. If you do good then he's going to pat you on the back and tell you ‘good job.' He coaches you hard on the field, and off the field he's a normal guy like a friend. He talks with you and laughs with you. That's what you want as a coach. You want somebody that will push you to get better. That's what he's doing right now."

One thing Muschamp has brought to the field is a more aggressive style of play that focuses on turnovers. That comes from his time spent working with coaches like Bill Oliver and Nick Saban, who both stress that in their defenses. Powers says the change is something he feels fits in with with Auburn's personnel.

"A lot of stuff he does that we watch on film, like how his past teams have done it--we're like ‘wow'", Powers says. "We're impressed with it and once everybody knows their roles it's going to be fun to watch. I think he's aggressive and we're that type of team I think. I'm loving it right now."

When Irons returns Powers knows he's headed back in the backup rotation at cornerback once again. While the starting spots look to be set in stone, he says that he'll do whatever it takes to get on the field because Muschamp is looking for activity out of his players and that's something he plans to deliver every day.

"This spring we're competing and I think he wants to see how well we compete and how we're going to react to pressure," Powers says. "With him being a new coach it's a new start for the freshmen. With us Coach Gibbs was new and it's like we're freshmen all over again with Coach Muschamp. I think he's just looking to see who is going to work hard and pick up things quick. It's a good opportunity."

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