Auburn football: Ellis Johnson confirms safety Josh Holsey out for season

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 20, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala.Josh Holsey won't play again this season.

Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said the sophomore safety will sit out the rest of the year after suffering a knee injury on Thursday. The injury occurred on the last play of the practice.

Johnson wasn't sure of the extent of the injury aside from it being a season-ending one for the Fairburn native.

"It's definitely one where the number of weeks, even if they don't have to do any surgery, it would take to rest and rehab it, we'd be past the end of the year," said Johnson, before he described how the injury took place. "He and the receiver kind of tripped over each other and rolled up. The practice film isn't clear enough at the angle it was taken to see how he hurt it. It looked like he jammed it, hyper extended it and then it rolled up."

Given the timing of Holsey's injury, Johnson said it couldn't have been "a worse scenario." That's when the coaching staff made a swift decision, electing to move Ryan White from cornerback to boundary safety to take over Holsey's spot, which freed up safeties Jermaine Whitehead and Ryan Smith to play at dime back.

Having less than two days to prepare to play a new position, White was brought in for crash-course training.

"(Safeties) Coach (Charlie) Harbison spent a few hours with him and he had a walk-through that afternoon with the unit," Johnson said. "He knew the position mentally — just being a defensive back, he knows what that guy does. The adjustments and the alignments and being in the right place and coverage leverage — I thought he did a magnificent job."

The numbers spoke for themselves, as White had five tackles and also picked off Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the opening period of Saturday's game. The pilfer marked the first interception of White's career.

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