Marks Looking to Lead 2008 Football Team

Auburn junior defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks discusses his position change and the 2008 football Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Strong defensive line play has been a major part of Auburn's success in recent seasons. With Sen'Derrick Marks returning for his junior season, that trend could continue this season.

The 6-1, 287-pounder will be adjusting to a move back inside from end to tackle, but all signs from spring practice point to him continuing his improvement and continuing to be a big-time contributor to Auburn's defense.

Last season, Marks moved outside to end and played very well at the position, but with starting defensive tackle Pat Sims deciding to go pro after his junior season, the Auburn coaching staff decided to put Marks back at tackle during spring drills. That is the position where he played well as a redshirt freshman in 2006.

As a two-year starter who has made a name for himself as a player who should be one of the top defensive players in the SEC this fall, the lineman will be expected to lead the younger and more inexperienced players.

"I feel it means I have to lead in more ways than just going out and doing too much hollering," Marks says. "I feel it means I have to go out and lead by example, just like having a little sister or little brother."

This spring training was a transitional period for everyone on Auburn's team as both the offense and defense had to adjust to new coordinators running the show. Marks was able to still play well enough to stand out in the scrimmages and in the A-Day Game, where he was named defensive MVP.

"I played well," Marks says of his overall spring performance. "I missed part of the last scrimmage because of classes, but I came out with a good mindset and tried to give some good leadership to the other guys."

Sen'Derrick Marks (94) is shown in the A-Day Game. Marks and his teammates are currently taking spring semester final exams.

Paul Rhoads came in as Auburn's new coordinator in January and was able to put his stamp on the AU defensive system without making radical changes in AU's 4-3 alignment. Marks says he likes how the defense progressed in the 15 days of spring practice.

"I think overall we did pretty good," he notes. "We came a long way in terms of having to change coordinators and going against a new style of offense. I think we did pretty well overall getting in good practices this spring."

Marks notes that Auburn's up-tempo offensive system installed by Tony Franklin, has impacted the defense, too. With the no-huddle style that Franklin has implemented, Auburn is able to run more plays faster than ever. Marks looks at it as a way to make sure his team's defense is well-conditioned.

"Oh yeah, the offense moves so fast that it is a different type of football game," he says. "We are adjusting to it, and I think we got better at it and I think it is going to be fun to watch in the fall."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories