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Monday, August 24, 2009

Make no mistake, DE Eguae impressing early

I wrote a story for today's newspaper about defensive end Nosa Eguae. Here's how it starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — There isn’t a move Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman makes that his understudy Nosa Eguae doesn’t watch with a discerning eye.

Driven to make as few mistakes as possible, the freshman culls information in every possible manner, whether it’s watching the senior All-SEC performer come out of his stance or simply carry himself in public.

“I don’t know if I’d be where I am right now if I didn’t have a dude like AC in front of me,” Eguae said. “Every time he’s in, I’m taking mental reps. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing; if he’s stretching, I look at him. He’s just one of those guys that you can look at no matter what.”

People might be saying that of Eguae soon. The 6-foot-2, 244-pound freshman has been a quick study in his short time on the Plains, working primarily as Coleman’s backup at rush end while cross-training on the other side of the line.

Although it might be difficult for him to get playing time this year, Eguae has drawn rave reviews from teammates and coaches for his attention to detail and eagerness to get things right.

“He’s the type of kid that gets it,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “Football makes sense to him. As a coach, you tell you him something and then you coach him and you see it transform so he doesn’t make the same mistake again.”

Read the whole story here.

I'm not sure if Eguae will get on the field much this season. Coleman obviously has the rush end position locked down, and Antoine Carter and Michael Goggans will rotate at the end positions as well. You wouldn't want to burn a redshirt on someone to play in a reserve role like, especially when size and strength are going to be an issue, as they always are when a freshman defensive lineman is involved (at 244 pounds, he could stand to gain about 15 or so).

But it seems like Eguae can be a sleeper in this freshman class. He was only a 3-star recruit. And while we have admittedly seen very little of him in any kind of practice situation, what fellow players and coaches are saying about him is hard to ignore. He should be a n interesting player to see develop at Auburn.


JunkerJorge said...

Dang, put him at linebacker

Andy Bitter said...

I don't think Auburn's coaches want to stunt Eguae's growth as a defensive lineman by moving him around to different positions.

He's at 244 pounds already and is clearly going to gain some weight this year. I think end is his natural position and there's no good short-term reason to mess with that.