AUBURN, Ala. — With Robenson Therezie's status in doubt for the time being, Auburn is scrambling at Star, its hybrid linebacker/safety position.
At least at the top of the depth chart, things are set: Justin Garrett is comfortably in place as the starter. But behind him, the picture is murky. If Therezie is out for any period of time, the other options at the position are a pair of unproven players: sophomore Mackenro Alexander and true freshman Nick Ruffin. Alexander took part in eight games last year, collecting four tackles, with 1.5 tackles for loss.
To induce further competition at the spot, defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson added another player to the mix Thursday.
"We actually took a look at T.J. (Davis) this morning and let him play a little bit of it," Johnson said.
A third-year sophomore from Tallahassee, Fla., Davis appeared in 12 games last season as a backup cornerback, recording one tackle.
Johnson said how the Star is utilized is a function of the type of offense its opponent runs.
"A game like Arkansas, that guy is going to end up on the box a lot, so I'll have a linebacker that can play that spot also to back up Justin," he said. "You go back to the field alignment when they're out wide against the four-wides and the three-wides and the things our offense does. We've got several defensive backs that could step up there and run it."
When pressed as to why Therezie may miss time, Johnson declined to provide any specifics.
"He just hasn't had a lot of reps, you know. He hadn't had a lot of practice reps," the coach said. "We're getting Justin ready and right now we've got to get some depth out there."
Therezie, who started all 14 games at Star last season, led the Tigers with four interceptions last year in addition to registering 57 tackles.