Spring Of Change Working Out Well For Garrett

Justin Garrett

Junior Justin Garrett will be a player to watch for Saturday's Auburn spring football game.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the players who is expected to perform well at Auburn's A-Day spring football game on Saturday is "star" rover Justin Garrett, who said he is excited about how he is fitting into the new 4-2-5 defensive system coordinator Ellis Johnson has installed.

"I am ecstatic about having the opportunity to play," Garrett said. "I know have a lot of things I?have to work on technique-wise to get me to the position I need to get to so I can be ready for the season."

Despite what Garrett said, no player on offense or defense has earned more praise this spring from the coaches.

"I feel like it is the perfect system for my body type and the way I play," he said. The junior, who was a backup linebacker last year, noted the "ability to roam around and make plays" is exciting to him.

"I am blitzing, I am in coverage--the offense never knows what I am going to do," said Garrett, who said that the position is like the one he played as a standout performer at Tucker, Ga., High School.

"I play in space a lot, I come into the box and my job depends on what the offense does," he said. "I just have to be able to do multiple different things--play as a linebacker, safety and sometimes play as corner out in space and as a defensive end at times."

Asked what the big difference is with the defense comparing what the Tigers did last year under coordinator Brian VanGorder compared to what they are doing this spring with Johnson calling the shots, Garrett said, "It is really a lot more simple and easier. Everybody gets the call. Everybody looks to the sideline for the call. Everybody is playing fast."

Last season the defensive alignment call was sent to the middle linebacker, who then relayed it to the rest of the players. That system didn't always work, particularly against pace teams who snapped the football before the Tigers had time to get properly aligned with the calls from the sideline sometimes coming too late for the defenders to adjust to an offensive formation.

Garrett said without a doubt the 2013 defense will be more equipped to play against up-tempo offenses. He also predicted he will be better prepared to perform this fall.

"I am flying around, playing as myself, being comfortable," he said. "I really didn't feel as comfortable at linebacker."

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