Marks Doing It All On Auburn D-Line

Sen'Derrick Marks talks with Inside the Auburn Tigers about his role on the Auburn defense and what it's like playing for Will Muschamp.

Auburn, Ala.--Sen'Derrick Marks started every game as a freshman in 2006, and really came into his own toward the end of the season when Auburn relied on defense to win ball games over Alabama and Nebraska.

Following the spring of 2007, Marks was moved from defensive tackle and listed as the starting strongside end. He plays that position mostly when the Tigers are in a 4-3 defense in run situations, but still plays just about everything else on the line.

"Against Florida I played 50-something snaps total, but I don't know how many at each position," Marks explains. "I've played a nine (technique), a six head up on the tight end, a four head up on the tackle, a three on the guard, a two on the guard and even a shade on the center. I've played all of them.

"It's not confusing," he adds, "because since I've played football and with the coaches I had in high school, it was always ‘know every position on the field.' Basically if you know the scheme of the defense you know what every man is doing."

It also helps Marks, who plays both end and tackle in the three, four and five-man fronts, that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and the defense get to practice early and have a walk-through to make sure everybody knows their assignments and where to line up in different situations.

"We're out about 10, 15 sometimes 30 minutes before," he says. "It helps a lot. We have what, a day or two to put everything in? We've got a game every Saturday, so going out with Coach Muschamp and he makes sure you go over it and know it before practice, then he doesn't have to worry about teaching it while we're practicing. Everybody knows what's going on so he can just coach us while we practice.

"I like the way we do that. I don't know if I've ever been around a coach who goes out and does a walk through before practice. It helps us out a lot. We go out there, we know what's going on, we learn it in meetings, take it out there and go over it, then during practice it's coaching instead of teaching."

With film study, meetings, weight lifting, practice, as well as getting to practice early, it's still not too much for Marks because Muschamp is a players' coach.

"For some reason I just love Coach Muschamp," he says. "I love that style of coaching. He lets you know that he's into it. You know exactly what he wants. He doesn't want any soft, non-hitters. He's going to tell you exactly what he wants and exactly how he feels. I like that as a coach and just every day outside of practice. I don't like anybody to sugarcoat anything with me. I like to know exactly what it is, so that's probably the reason I really like Coach Muschamp."


Marks is shown celebrating his interception against New Mexico State.

Marks and Jerraud Powers were named by the Auburn coaches as the defensive players of the week in Auburn's victory over Florida. Powers was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. However, Marks says that the defense was over the victory at Florida by Sunday.

"As soon as we got done watching film and got on the practice film and go over the corrections in Sunday practice, Florida was over," he notes. "Just like we lost to Mississippi State and South Florida, we could go out and lose to Vanderbilt. We've put that win behind us. We enjoyed it while it happened, but we've moved on to the next game.

"Growing up I didn't pay much attention to college football and since I have been here we haven't played them so I really didn't know much about Vanderbilt until recently," Marks continues. "As I have heard and seen, they have a good team that is going to come in and play hard. As Tubs (Tommy Tuberville) told us they haven't been to a bowl game in like 23 years so they are going to come in here with something to play for.

"Their quarterback, Chris Nickson, is like a running back who can throw the ball. We have to contain him. They have great backs and their whole offensive line is all seniors and returning starters so they have great chemistry. We know they have great seniors so overall they are a good team. Their offensive line moves very well. They have a lot of quickness."

Kickoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and will be televised on Lincoln Financial Sports.


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