Auburn takes pride in its special teams play. Last year one of the major highlights was watching Craig Sanders or Demetruce McNeal blasting opposing returners on kickoffs. The Tigers will look for new players and veterans to form their “special forces” units this season.
The Tigers coaching staff has put such an emphasis on special teams that players now compete for a role on the kickoff or punt coverage teams instead of the typical demotion to a coverage unit. The Tigers take pride in their work, and special teams coverage can be a major player in a football game.
Last season numerous players contributed often and made an identity for themselves with their hits. Others went silently unnoticed just going about coverage consistently and methodically. One of those silent specialists was star receiver Emory Blake. Blake was one of the most consistent tacklers for the kickoff and punt coverage teams a year ago.
No one knows who will be the star this season, but every player on the roster is gunning for a spot on the coveted “special forces.” Here are eight Tigers who are likely to be lightning bolts on the field and bring the pain train to returners this season.