Roommates of two years going on three, the trio of Auburn defensive backs competed over the small things in life and were also fighting for two spots in the starting lineup. That all changed on August 4th when Savage tore the ACL in his right knee and was lost for the season, making Powers and McFadden the top two at cornerback.
"It's exciting," McFadden says of being a starter, "but when it's your teammate that goes down, and my roommate, it's kind of sad."
No matter who the "starters" were going to be, all three were slated to play the majority of the meaningful snaps this season.
"When we first moved in together, Savage was a safety," Powers says. "We used to always talk about, ‘Our junior year, our senior year, it's going to be us three (at safety and both corners). It's going to be fun.' Then Savage moved to corner and it was sort of like, ‘Uh oh. All right, now what are we going to do?' It was all fun and it was good.
"When he moved to corner we were together in everything we did, every meeting, every group, all that stuff," Powers adds. "We were together and all competing for the same jobs."
And often times that competition went past the football field, but all in good fun.
"Sometimes it gets to the house," McFadden explains, "Who can cook the best, who can do anything the best, who wants to feed the dog first, whoever gets up earliest. The competition got kind of crazy, but we all love each other and we know that we're just competing."
Powers agrees that there has always been a competition, but isn't sure why McFadden brought cooking into the equation. "I haven't seen Walt cook in my life but some Hamburger Helper. The skillet was all messed up and burnt when he was done. I'm more of the juicy hamburger or fried chicken. Walt cooking? I can't believe he even brought that up. Walt can't cook. Savage can cook and I can cook. Walt just eats off what we've got."
Powers and Savage lived in the dorms together their freshman year at Auburn.
Savage was operated on by Dr. James Andrew at The Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Fla., on Aug. 6. Since then the competition has faded. However, Powers and McFadden say that their teammate and roommate is in high spirits.
"Me and Walt are mommy and dad right now," Powers says, "and he's the baby so we've got to take care of him.
"The main thing he needs right now is comfort and high energy," Powers continues. "Every time we come home we're always joking or laughing and stuff. He might ask about how practice is going, but we don't harp about football too much because if we sat there and talked about football he might get down a little more. We just go home, laugh a little bit and joke around.
"His medicine is strong–his pain pills," Powers jokes. "He hasn't really felt the ‘pain pain' yet because he's on his schedule with his pills. Every night about 2:30 he might wake up and call on one of us to get him his medicine. But he's good though, he's fine. He's in high spirits. Everything is going good with him and he's ready to start rehab and try to get back out there."
"He's doing great actually," McFadden adds. "He's at home and I've been feeding him a lot of chips and cookies lately. He sent me a text message earlier, ‘Do your thing out there.'"