Rosegreen Eager To Hit Someone

Auburn, Ala.--A new season, a new coach, a new position and a new style are among the reasons that <b>Junior Rosegreen</b> is excited about getting the 2002 season started.

One of the first moves that new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik made when he arrived at Auburn in time for spring drills was to move Rosegreen from cornerback to strong safety, the position he played so well at Dillard High School. Rosegreen quickly showed he was a natural at the position and in Chizik's new system. He landed at the top of the depth chart during spring drills and has held onto it since then.

Chizik has preached physical play throughout the defense and the secondary is no exception. Rosegreen arrived on campus ready to hit somebody and looks to be a natural in the new coordinator's system. The Auburn strong safety notes, "We are going to be a lot more physical. Coach Chizik loves a physical DB. He says you can't play the game if you are not physical."

Last fall as a redshirt freshman, Rosegreen played cornerback. He saw action in all 12 games and started one time. He steadily improved throughout the season. He made 16 solo tackles with eight assists. Those numbers should improve significantly this fall.

Rosegreen and the Tigers won't have to wait long to show what they can do. The opener is set for Monday at 5 p.m. (PDT) in Los Angeles, which is 7 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised nationally by ABC with Keith Jackson calling the action.

One of the major keys for success for the Tigers on their cross country trip will be to contain USC senior quarterback Carson Palmer, who can become the all-time leading passer in Southern California football history this season. Rosegreen says he has been impressed with what he has seen on video of Palmer. "He is real good and if he finds a weak link, he is going to go after you," Rosegreen says. "But, I feel like we don't have any weak links in our secondary. We have got me, Travaris Robinson, Carlos Rogers and Roderick Hood.

Rogers was a Freshman All-American last year. He is bigger and stronger for his sophomore season. Hood is coming off a junior year in which he was slowed by injuries. Rosegreen says he has been impressed by both of the starting cornerbacks. "They are underrated, but after this game they are going to get their props," says Rosegreen, who notes that he and free safety Robinson enjoy working with Hood and Rogers.

Every member of the Auburn secondary has plenty of experience and the group has been giving Auburn's talented group of freshman wide receivers plenty of tough looks in practice going back to the first session of full squad two-a-day practices. Rosegreen says the young receivers are making progress. "Ben Obomanu, Devin (Aromashodu), Anthony Mix, Montae Pitts and the others are some great young receivers. If they just keep listening to Coach (Greg) Knox they are going to be real good before they leave."

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