AUBURN, Ala. — In the most recent recruiting cycle, Auburn brought in four defensive linemen from the high school ranks: tackle Dontavius Russell and ends Andrew Williams, Raashed Kennion and Justin Thornton.
Of that quartet, Russell has won the highest praise from his position coach since the Tigers opened fall camp.
"He's good. I mean, he's really good," defensive line coach Rodney Garner said. "He could be really good this year, but you really don't need that position. You need an outside position. I'm still struggling with what I'm going to do with him, because he could be so good."
Garner was equally pleased with Kennion, even if the coach would prefer the first-year player not take the field this season.
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"He can really run. He can run, he can bend, and he is long. He can accelerate," Garner said of the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Jacksonville, Fla., native. "You know, unfortunately, he's a kid you want to redshirt, but he has natural stuff. We don't know how it's going to develop, but I would say right now as a speed guy, he is the best in that young group."
As for Williams, Garner viewed him as a situational player in the mold of another lineman on the roster, Elijah Daniel.
"The Williams kid ... he's more of a first- and second-down kind of kid and more of an inside kid on third-down situations," Garner said.