Freshman Lineman Making Progress

Comments from Auburn defensive lineman Nosa Eguae and his position coach, Tracy Rocker, are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the newcomers who has caught the attention of the Auburn football coaching staff is Texan Nosa Eguae.

The defensive end is pushing for playing time as a freshman and notes that he is pleased with how things have been going.

"Being a young guy, every day is like an interview," Eguae tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "That is what the coaches always say. I have to go out there and show myself and get better. I feel like I have gotten better every day.

"Getting better every day is my goal," he adds. "Don't worry about anything else, don't worry about redshirting, don't worry about playing time, worry about getting better every day and I think I have been doing that."

Fellow defensive end, returning All-SEC player Antonio Coleman, notes that Eguae and safety Daren Bates are the two freshmen who have impressed him during preseason drills. Commenting on Eguae, Coleman says, "I think he is going to be able to help us out a lot at defensive end."

Eguae, who is 6-2, 244 pounds from Mansfield Summit High School, says his biggest challenge so far has been rushing the passer.

"In high school, you go against six-foot-two, six-foot-three and maybe six-foot-four offensive linemen," he points out. "On this level they are big dudes and if they get on you, you are done. I am working on technique on the pass rush and also learning to be able to play against a good run block. And, I am trying to do it all with a lot of effort."

His position coach, Tracy Rocker, is looking to find eight or nine guys to play on the defensive front four and notes that Eguae has a chance to be in that group.

"He has impressed me, one, by his maturity and just his approach to practice," Rocker says. "He is not a high rep guy. You explain it to him and he catches on pretty fast to what we are doing.

"He comes from a good high school program," Rocker points out. "He has been coached real well and he understands the game, but the thing about Nosa I have enjoyed is he can make a mistake and he is not standing there watching or wondering what the hell happened. He is chasing the ball, playing the game, and that is a plus, Now, if we can just eliminate the mistakes. You can always coach on fundamentals and technique, but effort, that's the number one thing."

Nosa Eguae is shown at Wednesday night's practice.

Rocker is obviously pleased with the freshman's progress, but adds, "I hope he makes an impact. I am all for him making an impact, but it is going to take some work. Who knows what may happen when you walk out there and see 90,000 standing over you.

"It is a process, we have to be patient, and just keep getting better day by day and let him enjoy it and understand it takes time," Rocker says. "My concern is when you are that young you may hit the wall, you may not. Right now he is fighting through it and being mature about the whole situation."

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