"I have been struggling," Savage tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Every time somebody mentions practice the first word that comes to my mind is hot. That's with capital letters and exclamation marks behind it. It's just so hot and the offense has it good because their part of the field is shaded with a bunch of trees. The defense goes off to something like an island with nothing but the sun beaming down on us."
Savage and his defensive teammates might have it worse during the practice. but they've been giving it to the offense every chance they get. The first opportunity came last week in the first scrimmage of the preseason and he says they more than held their own against their offensive counterparts.
"We took it out on them this past week," Savage says. "I think the offense was held to 15 passing yards and negative rushing yards. Our defense gave the offense fits. A couple of our first offensive guys are on defense so that had a little to do with it."
The weather isn't the only thing hot on the Johnson practice fields as Savage says he has been on fire in practice and has been in the backfield on just about every play. Already quick off the ball, he says his two visits to Auburn gave him some pointers that he's making use of this camp.
"I see a big difference in my game," Savage says. "The one difference I see is me coming out of my stance, my quickness off the ball. If the ball even flinches I'm in the backfield. That's one thing I've learned.
"I've learned some new moves with my pass rush," he adds. "I have also learned to use my speed off the ball. When we were doing the pass rush at Auburn I learned a couple of tips about how to use my speed off the ball. That will come into play a lot for me. I've almost gone unblocked the last couple of weeks.
Holding steady with offers from Auburn, Tennessee and Southern Miss at the moment, the 6-3 ½, 270 Savage says that he's beginning to hear from several more schools as his summer winds to a close and his senior season draws near.
"Of course it has kind of died down a little since they can't really talk to me any more," Savage says. "I have been getting letters from the University of Florida. They have just started writing me. Alabama has been sending me a load of letters. I'm still hearing from Auburn as well.
Savage says he hasn't set up any official visits to this point but after making several trips to Auburn, the Tigers will be a likely destination for one of the five visits for the defensive standout. He says there's just something about Auburn that sticks with him at the moment.
"I like the atmosphere," Savage says. "It's just a football atmosphere. The whole way down there on the way to Auburn I knew I was close because every car I saw had an Aubie tiger tail hanging out or War Eagle on it. I knew I was getting close. There was Auburn everywhere. It was almost like if you went to Auburn you would have nothing to worry about in that area."