The crowd in front of Richard McBryde has thinned out considerably.
McBryde was a long shot to see the field in 2015 with Justin Garrett and Kris Frost entrenched at the linebacker spot in front of him.
Auburn’s has very few experienced players coming back at the position. After redshirting this season, McBryde has a chance to jump into the mix this fall.
“He's done a great job,” Frost said. “He's really raised his level. I haven't gotten to see him a whole bunch previously leading up to this point (bowl practice), so getting to see him out there -- he had a big-time interception in one of the practices -- he's done a lot of good stuff.”
The 6-foot-1, 227-pounder was a 4-star recruit coming out of Charles Henderson High School in Alabama. He had 147 tackles as a senior with 18 for a loss and seven sacks.
When coach Gus Malzahn introduced the Class of 2015 signing class, he talked about recruiting McBryde for more than two years.
“We thought he had the chance to be a special player,” Malzahn said. “He has great instincts.”
Frost said McBryde rotated at the Will and Mike positions during Auburn’s 15 bowl practices.
The potential of young defenders like McBryde that has Frost optimistic about the group’s future.
“I definitely feel like I'm leaving the school that I love in really good hands as far as the guys to come,” Frost said. “That's all we're thinking about, that's all we've always wanted: to leave Auburn in good hands and on a positive. That's what we intend on doing.”