Auburn, Ala.—Auburn's third scrimmage was one for the defense as the Tigers controlled things on that side of the ball with junior defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker at the center of things. Having one of his best scrimmages since he's been on the Plains, Whitaker and fellow first-team tackle Angelo Blackson both had strong days for the defense on Wednesday in Auburn's third preseason scrimmage.
"I think the energy was nice," Whitaker said. "We've still got some strides we need to make. We made too many errors, but overall we had a nice day.
"It's good to have a day like that," he added. ""The confidence level from a lot of guys with each other is rising. That's a good thing."
Whitaker said the entire defensive line has made some big strides since the first scrimmage last week and that has shown up in the depth chart at the moment as Nosa Eguae, Craig Sanders, Kenneth Carter and Gabe Wright are currently working with the second group. That's a solid two-deep for the Tigers at the moment and Whitaker said for the group it's all about a common goal of getting better every day.
"I feel great," Whitaker said. "I love this team. I've got great teammates. I love each and every one of them. I just feel great about it. We're just going to keep making strides and stay under the radar. We're looking forward to the season."
With three scrimmages in one week it could take its toll on a team this early, but Whitaker said it's just something you sign up for when you play football at Auburn. Always known for being physical on the line of scrimmage he said that's what they're aiming for once again this season and the work they're putting in now will prepare them for just that.
"It's a grind, but it's Auburn," Whitaker said. "We're that blue collar school so it's in our blood. Part of you is tired, but another part of you says ‘man I'm in Jordan-Hare and I don't step out there iffy'. I step out there with one mindset and that's to go forward."