Young Defensive Back Helps Power AU Secondary

Redshirt freshman Jerraud Powers talks about the season to this point and earning Auburn defensive player of the game honors.

Auburn, Ala.--He's not the most imposing Auburn defender, but for the Auburn Tigers this week 5-9 defensive back Jerraud Powers may be one of the most important.

With starting safety Eric Brock banged up with an ankle sprain and fellow safety Tristan Davis hampered with a hamstring strain, Powers could be in line for action at safety this week and says that if he's called upon he's ready to accept the challenge.

Already this season Powers had done more than his share to help the Tigers on defense. A redshirt freshman expected to provide depth at cornerback, Powers has done triple duty by working as both the nickel and dime back as well. He says that it has been hard to adjust at times, but he's prepared to do whatever it takes to win.

"It sort of gets tough sometimes because you have to learn different things at different positions but I'm enjoying it," Powers says. "I don't have a problem with it because it gives me more opportunities to get me on the field. I'm the type that whatever coach wants me to do and if that's playing defensive line I'll do it.

"I think it helps me from the standpoint that it helps me learn more and more positions on the defense," Powers adds. "If I'm playing corner and I need to know what the nickel guy is doing I'll know because I play nickel, too. It's the same with the dime. It helps me, as a player, understand the defense from a different position standpoint."

Powers has been solid for the Tigers both in coverage and tackling.

Last Saturday Powers had perhaps his best game of the season in a 27-0 victory over Arkansas State. Although he was in on just two tackles the Decatur native played well in the secondary and broke up a pass in the end zone that he nearly intercepted. Powers says that he was just happy that the Tigers didn't give up any points for the second time this season.

"I think overall as a defense we played pretty well," Powers says. "We got a shutout, but we've got a lot of room for improvement. We had a lot of mental errors, some guys not fitting in the right spots like we should have. We all worked hard and ran to the ball well and we got the shutout."

Already this season the Tigers have played three games before before noon and against Georgia this Saturday it will be number four as the game was picked up by Lincoln Financial Sports and will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Although Auburn hasn't played well in the early games with the exception of a 34-0 win at Mississippi State, Powers says it's something he's fine with, especially in a game of this magnitude.

"I think it's more of a mindset," Powers says. "You've got to get yourself ready to play. We've struggled with it a few times, but once that whistle blows you have to be ready to do whatever it takes to win. I don't have a problem playing in the morning. I actually like morning games because I can have the rest of the day to myself."

As he prepares for his first taste of the Georgia rivalry as a player Powers says that he's anxious to face the Bulldogs and see how different it feels on the field. One thing he is sure of is Georgia will come to play. He says that's a given and he feels confident the Tigers will as well.

"I guess you could throw away the records and the past," Powers says. "You could throw away all that. Saturday it will be us and Georgia. Everybody knows what the rival is. They're going to give us their best shot and we're going to give them our best shot. Hopefully we can come out on top."

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