Auburn DB Sees Signs of Progress

A report features comments from Auburn safety Aairon Savage.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tommy Tuberville says he is looking forward to seeing Aairon Savage's development in year two as the starting free safety for the Auburn football team.

The redshirt sophomore steadily improved during the 2006 season, a trend that continued in spring drills and since the start of preseason workouts.

Savage says his focus is the team as the Tigers try to build a strong unit in the second season under the direction of coordinator Will Muschamp, who also coaches the safeties and cornerbacks.

"The defense is coming along good," says Savage, whose Tigers open the season with a nationally televised home game vs. Kansas State on Sept 1. "Of course, we are all excited to be back on the big stage and just being out there playing with the guys."

A year ago at this time, Savage was preparing for his first college football game as Auburn was putting the finishing touches on a game plan to use against Washington State, a team the Tigers handled with no problem. Savage contributed to that victory with solid play vs. the Cougars.

He says he really wasn't to nervous prior to his college debut. "It wasn't that bad," he says, remembering the final instructions he received from Muschamp as the Tigers got ready to travel to LaGrange, Ga., their traditional headquarters the night before games at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"The main thing that helped me was that right before we left for LaGrange you sit down and talk with your coaches and Coach Muschamp looked at me and said, ‘Don't worry, you are going to do good. ‘ That is all he said to me."

"You expect your coaches in that situation to always be in your ear telling you to do this or that," Savage notes. "It was different with Coach Muschamp. It was a case of him telling me you are going to be fine. It made me feel good and it was a big confidence booster letting me know he had confidence in me."

Aairon Savage spent the summer on campus working out with his teammates.

As the Tigers prepare for the opener vs. Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference, Savage says the defensive backs need to work together. "The main thing, as we say in the meeting room, is to have good communication in the secondary. As long as we are all on the same page, we are fine."

Commenting on the 2007 Auburn team, the redshirt freshman says, "I believe we are making strides on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. It is a three-team game and we need all three playing well to be successful."

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