Young LBs Trying to Adjust to College Ball

An Auburn football report features linebackers Adam Herring and Josh Bynes.

Auburn, Ala.--With the Tigers losing two linebackers to grades and one to injury, a pair of true freshmen are being watched closely to see if they can help the depth on the 2007 Auburn defense.

Adam Herring from Fayetteville, Ark., and Shiloh Christian in nearby Springdale and Josh Bynes from Boyd Anderson High in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., are receiving plenty of attention from their position coach, James Willis.

"They are doing well," Willis tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "They are young and I am sure they are starting to get to what we call ‘the wall' where all of the calls start sounding alike and all of the alignments look alike.

"Once they get to the point where they can get over that wall and break through that thing, everything will be okay," Willis says. "They are doing everything we ask them to do as far A their effort, their attitudes and paying attention in meetings. The rest will come. That is our job."

Herring comes into his first college season after playing on an undefeated, state championship team last fall.

"Practice has gone well so far," Herring says. "I am getting used to it every day. I am trying to get better every day. I am trying to learn my plays better every day.

"I need to keep watching film and get in the playbook more and get all my assignments down while remembering to play fast," says Herring, who is playing the weakside linebacker spot where the Tigers lost Steve Gandy, who is giving up football due to a series of concussions.

"Steve Gandy is a warrior," Herring says. "He wanted to be out there more than anybody on this team. I am just going to give it all I have got."

Herring, who is 6-1, 217 pounds, says he feels comfortable at the weakside spot. "I moved around and played all of the linebacker positions in high school," he says. "Where I am now is a position where you have the opportunity to make a lot of plays."

The linebacker says adjusting to the speed of the game has been his number one assignment, however, as the son of Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring that is something he expected coming into his freshman year. "I am getting better every day dealing with it," he says.

Bynes, who is coming off a knee injury his senior season at Boyd Anderson High, says he is full speed again and excited about the opportunity.

Josh Bynes (17) is shown at a practice with Steve Gandy before the redshirt junior linebacker gave up football due to concussions.

"It has been tough and fast with the tempo going at an amazing speed," says Bynes, who at 6-2, 224 pounds is getting a look at middle linebacker. "You just have to take your time and let everything flow and let it come to you.

"Right now I know all of the plays," he adds. "I am trying to learn the change of formations and different alignments. I am going to get better as I go on."

Bynes, who came to Auburn for workouts back in June, says that extra time on campus has helped him deal with preseason drills. "It helped tremendously because the speed is amazing," he says. "If you are not in shape out here in the hot sun, you aren't going to cut it."

Head coach Tommy Tuberville will be putting the linebackers and the rest of the squad through the first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The head coach says the reserves will be closely watched and carefully evaluated.

Willis says even though both freshmen linebackers are works in progress, they arrived on campus with good knowledge of the game. "You can tell that by the way they move," the linebacker coach says. "They just don't run here or there. They understand the game and the flow of the football."

Willis says it is too early to know if either Herring or Bynes will play as true freshmen. "We will see. You always want to prepare them to be ready if you have to play them."


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