April 19, 2013

NOTEBOOK: Holsey makes a move

AUBURN | Depth at safety has become a significant concern.

Is it a short-term thing or a real problem? That's to be determined.

Rising senior Demetruce McNeal missed practice for a second consecutive day Friday while attending to what defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said were "off-the-field things he's got to clean up." His understudy, rising junior Trent Fisher, has been slowed by an ankle injury.

To compensate, Johnson has moved cornerback Joshua Holsey to safety in a move that will stick for the time being. Auburn will enter A-Day with exactly four healthy scholarship safeties -- including Holsey.

"It was probably something we should have done earlier where it would really (give Holsey) a chance to learn a position," Johnson said. "We want him to be a guy who play corner or safety, get our best 11 on the field. Heck, he may be one of those guys. We're a little thin for the spring game and definitely need to get him wrapped up so he can go in and play safety on Saturday."

Holsey, a rising sophomore, is considered a rising star in the secondary. He was productive as a backup last season and earned notice for being able to play the ball while being in phase with receivers. Other Auburn defenders weren't comfortable doing that.

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