AUBURN, Ala. — Johnathan Ford will see time at one of his former positions on a temporary basis this spring. But it's not at running back.
Ford, who led Auburn in tackles last year with 93, played at safety last year. The rising junior also lined up at safety with the first-team defense Tuesday when the Tigers opened spring practice. But according to defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, Ford will also begin taking reps at cornerback.
"Everybody talks hips and all, I could care less. We play in a half turn," Muschamp said. "We’re opened up and running or we’re playing bump and run — one or the other. He’s a physical, tough player and he can really run on the top end and can match up against some of the bigger receivers in our league."
Ford joined Auburn as a running back, part of the team's 2013 recruiting class. During fall camp that year, however, he offered to move to corner. That's where he stayed the entire season before shifting to safety last spring. So for at least this spring, he'll cross-train at both safety and corner. On Tuesday, Jonathan Jones and Josh Holsey were the first-team cornerbacks.
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A Big Cove, Ala., native, Ford has appeared in 27 games the past two seasons, which includes 13 starts (all came last year). In his career, he's registered 98 tackles (2.5 for loss) and snagged three interceptions.