Position Change Highlights First Practice

Tommy Tuberville and the Auburn staff didn't waste any time at mixing and matching positions in preseason workouts.

Auburn, Ala.--True freshman Brent Slusher has been moved to defensive end. The 6-3 1/2, 235-pounder from Pineville, Ky., was the lone early enrollee of the 2007 signing class and he practiced throughout the spring at tight end, but opened preseason workouts on the other side of the ball.

"We need more defensive ends," Coach Tommy Tuberville says about Slugher's move. "He played defense in high school. He was more of a defensive player and we moved him to tight end in the spring. He wanted to give that a shot...he might move back. It's always an experiment when you move a guy from one position to another. I liked what I saw today. He'll play defensive end/outside linebacker, that type of guy. He can run. He can jump. He's going to gain 10 or 15 more pounds. It's kind of in the experimental stages right now."

Slusher was a dominating tight end and linebacker at Bell County High School, but with senior Cole Bennett, sophomores Gabe McKenzie and Tommy Trott, as well as true freshman Bailey Woods competing for playing time, Slusher would have been in an uphill battle to get much action at that position. The Tigers also have a tight end commitment for the 2008 class, Vance Smith.

From his linebacker position as a high school senior, Slusher had more than 150 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and four interceptions. He was an All-State selection and was a finalist for Kentucky's Mr. Football.

Slusher, shown at a recent summer voluntary workout, has bulked up his frame since arriving on the Auburn campus in January.

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