John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor
Auburn "star" Justin Garrett
Justin Garrett hasn't made much of an impact for the Tigers in the fall during his two years on the Plains, but the 6'1", 214-pounder made quite the impression this spring for first-year head coach Gus Malzahn and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.
He emerged as the sure-fire leader to start at the hybrid linebacker/safety "star" position this spring, and it's a spot that suits him well.
"I feel like this is the perfect system for my body type and the way I play," he said this spring, according to AuburnTigers.com. "I'm blitzing and covering. The offense never knows what I'm going to do."
Robenson Therezie—who has bounced around between the defensive and offensive backfields during his career—will back Garrett up. Therezie is a solid athlete and will likely step in during obvious passing situations, but Garrett showed this spring that he's versatile and pays close attention to the fundamentals.
"He is, without a doubt, the best we’ve got," Johnson said. "He hasn’t played much ball, not in games around here. It’s not always game experience when it comes to something as simple as physically tackling."
Auburn's offense will grab headlines, but the defense needs a tune up as well. In 2013, it will revolve around Garrett.