Now approaching the season opener once again in the midst of an impressive start to 2010, Eguae said at the moment he's just looking to continue to play well while also hoping to stay healthy at the same time.
"I'm looking forward to it," Eguae said. "It's kind of a bittersweet feeling because I was here last year and a couple of days before the game I got hurt. I'm a little paranoid making sure my feet are good and everything is good. I'm loving every minute of it. I'm happy just to get this opportunity."
A physical presence at defensive end, Eguae is part of a young group of players at the defensive end position hoping to push seniors Antoine Carter and Michael Goggans for playing time. Sophomore Dee Ford, fellow freshmen Craig Sanders, Corey Lemonier and Justin Delaine, as well as junior college transfer Joel Bonomolo are all making whoever is the starter on Sept. 4 earn it.
"It has been amazing," Eguae said. "We're all competing every day and doing good things. When you see somebody doing good things you want to do it too. It's getting real feisty. We all want to play and help the team and contribute. It's great for the team and great for us."
With four scrimmages so far this fall the defense has had its moments but also been put through the ringer at times by an explosive Auburn offense. Eguae said all that experience in scrimmage situations has given the defense a chance to learn something about each and every player on the field and how to respond to adversity.
"We've had some bad times in the scrimmages but the thing about us is that we always stick together," Eguae said. "There was one time when we didn't have a good first half in the scrimmage and then we had a player make the big play we needed. It turned around after that. Those are the types of things we've been doing as a defense. We're running to the ball and making tackles. That's what we've got to do."
Missing the entire year last year, the scrimmages have also given Eguae a chance to regain that edge that he showed last fall before going down with the injury. Having multiple opportunities to work at game speed, the Texas native said he feels more prepared to make some noise this time around.
"For me it has helped a lot," Eguae said. "Anytime you can go out there and go full go and make plays it always helps. Coach Rocker always says that if you make plays in practice you'll make them in a game. That's a big thing for me. I love going out there and practicing and making plays."
With less than two weeks left until the season opener against Arkansas State, Auburn's defense is hoping to show a great deal of improvement after the struggles of 2009. More depth at every position as well as some talented newcomers should make for a better year for the Tigers and Eguae said the goal is to send the veterans out on top.
"It has been a good first three weeks," Eguae said. "I can tell as a team we're getting better every day. We're listening to the coaching and taking the coaching. We're getting better from the mistakes we make and correcting them. As far as the defensive line, we're all competing to make sure these seniors end on a good note."