Young Linebacker Says He's Ready for Action

With injuries to the linebackers, Auburn's coaches are getting Adam Herring ready to play for Saturday's Homecoming contest.

Auburn, Ala.--With injuries to senior weakside linebacker co-starters Merrill Johnson and Chris Evans, this could be the week that redshirt freshman Adam Herring sees playing time.

Herring began the 2008 season focused on middle linebacker, but in recent weeks he has also been getting practice time on the outside at the will linebacker spot.

"I will be ready if my name is called," Herring tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I will definitely be ready for it. I need to stay focused and if I am not in the game I need to do mental reps. If do get in, I need to take advantage of the reps."

Johnson has been battling a hamstring problem and Evans has a toe injury. Both have not had their full mobility, but have played through the problems as have the majority of starters on the Auburn defense.

As Auburn prepares for Saturday's Homecoming contest vs. UT-Martin, Herring says he feels confident he will know what to do if he gets a chance to play. "At will linebacker I don't have to direct everybody like I do at middle linebacker," he notes. "I can focus on my own assignments and I do feel comfortable with them."

Herring also knows the assignments at middle linebacker where Josh Bynes has been the starter since Tray Blackmon was lost for the season after having wrist sugery. Bynes is trying to bounce back from a bruised thigh so it won't be surprising to see Herring get work in the middle.

Herring was a key player on a state championship team his senior year at Shiloh Christian in Arkansas two seasons ago. He played middle linebacker, weakside linebacker and rover on that team.

Adam Herring is the son of former Auburn assistant coach Reggie Herring.

After redshirting last year, he has been working on a variety of areas in hopes of moving up the depth chart. "I am working hard at getting mentally tougher," he says. "I am getting stronger and I am working on my quickness. I have watched everybody and tried to learn how to play the game fast. I am trying to get better at all of those things. Every day I try to go out there and work hard in practice."

Herring, who began the season at 6-1, 217 pounds, has dropped weight. "I weigh 208 pounds now so I have actually cut it down a bit," he points out. "I have lost a little bit of baby fat and gotten stronger."

Commenting on his Tigers, who come into Saturday's game 4-5, Herring says, "We are focusing on our assignments and this week focus is really our key word. We are just trying to do what we need to do to get a win. We are all playing hard, but we are falling short in a few areas and we are trying fix those so we can go out there and get wins."

Herring isn't sure what his role will be, but plans to be prepared. "For about three or four weeks now I have been focusing on will because Chris and Merrill have been in there playing hard, but they have gotten banged up," he says. "They moved me there (to weakside linebacker) to be ready to get in if I am needed there. Maybe it will be this week."

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