Starting cornerbacks David Irons and Jonathan Wilhite as well as reserve corner Montae Pitts and Jerraud Powers have played well during the spring, so redshirt freshman Aairon Savage was moved to free safety in Sunday's practice on an experimental basis.
Savage, who has true corner cover skills, says the move is just fine with him.
"It's a way to get on the field," he notes. "Right now we're just experimenting so we'll see what happens."
New defensive coordinator and secondary coach Will Muschamp has made it clear through the first week of practice that he wants his best athletes on the field even if they have to learn new positions, much like Kevin Sears learning the mike and sam linebacker position.
"Number one, he's a good football player," Muschamp says of Savage. "We need to find a way to get in on the field. Right now at corner, he was probably the third or fourth corner and there were guys playing well in front of him. I felt like he was the most physical guy that could move inside and do it. He's a kid that needs to play some snaps for us."
Redshirt freshman Aairon Savage backpedals during a drill at Sunday's practice.
During day one at free safety, Savage was communicating with other safeties like Steve Gandy and Tristan Davis on the sidelines after each playing making sure he was making all of the right reads in 11-on-11 drills.
"Just the first day of being on the field doing, it is different," Savage says. "It's coming along and we're going to make it work. It kind of goes hand in hand. As a cornerback you have to know what the safety does and know where your help is."
Savage, who came to Auburn as a reputation as a good coverage corner out of Westover High in Albany, Ga., was impressive on the scout team last fall while redshirting.
Tommy Tuberville noted after practice that the injury to Ferguson shouldn't keep him out for long. The redshirt sophomore should be back on the field later this week.
The Tigers are off on Monday, but are scheduled to practice Tuesday through Friday with another scrimmage on Saturday.