AUBURN, Ala. — Heading into Auburn's A-Day game last Saturday, Cameron Toney's status was a question mark. Toney, a rising third-year sophomore, was battling an undisclosed injury which forced him to sit out the Tuesday practice four days prior to the game.
Whatever was ailing him earlier in the week wasn't an issue once Saturday arrived, though, as Toney collected seven tackles, tied for most in the game along with fellow linebacker Kenny Flowers and defensive backs Michael Sherwood and Markell Boston.
For a player who spent last season as mainly a special teams player — after redshirting in 2013 — and has all of two tackles to his name in his college career, last Saturday was a dream come true.
"I think I did pretty well," he said. "I made a lot of plays, and one thing I want to do is thank the fans for coming out and thank my teammates for playing hard with me."
Considering how little playing time Toney has had up to this point, defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was pleasantly surprised by the performance. What added to the feat, in Muschamp's opinion, was that at the beginning of spring, Toney still wasn't sure what position he would play. Last season, he moved from linebacker to H-back in September. When Muschamp was hired in December, Toney was still a bit conflicted.
Eventually, he settled on returning to linebacker, a decision Muschamp believes paid off this spring.
"I thought he did a nice job. He needs to be an end-of-the-linebacker, and I think our odd stuff fit him very well," the coach said. "He did a nice job improving his pad level, and was able to make some plays for us. He's certainly a guy who's put himself in a position to contribute to our team."
Toney wasn't ready to start making any kind of predictions about the personal numbers he could put up this fall. Instead, he was focused on the unit as a whole..
"He brings the intensity," Toney said of Muschamp. "I think we are going to have a great season on the defensive side.”