South Carolina coach Will Muschamp sees potential in Auburn’s front seven, likes Rudy Ford at nickel and identifies Carlton Davis as a potential superstar in the making.
It doesn’t matter he’s not coaching them anymore.
“I'm excited about those guys,” Muschamp said on the final morning of SEC Media Days at the Wynfrey Hotel. “I'm glad we don't play them, but I want to those guys to do extremely well. Taking things forward.”
The Gamecocks’ quick courtship of Muschamp ended with the coach accepting the job less than two weeks after the Iron Bowl. He brought most of Auburn’s defensive staff — Travaris Robinson, Lance Thompson — with him.
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Muschamp spent one season as Auburn’s defensive coordinator during his third stint on the Plains. The Tigers defense played better late in the year, but struggled for much of the season giving up more yards (405.2) per game than it had in 2014.
The change in colors hasn’t wiped way the disappointment Muschamp feels over the lackluster overall performance.
“I wish we had played better defense for them,” Muschamp said. “We've got a combination of guys that played pretty well at the end. I wish we had gotten to that earlier.”
Muschamp has wished Auburn well multiple times this offseason and Thursday was no different. The coach went out of his way to praise his former boss Gus Malzahn.
“Gus is as good of a person as you ever meet,” Muschamp said.
Muschamp’s last bit of Auburn business was addressing the rumor started by his former defensive lineman Montravius Adams that the defensive coordinator broke a finger during halftime of one of Auburn’s games last year.
“I'm all right,” Muschamp said. “It's just a finger.”
Muschamp was pressed for details, but the coach feigned ignorance.
“I get mad at myself for not doing a better job preparing our players, and you get a little frustrated when the young men don't execute exactly the way we want to, and I wear my emotions sometimes on my sleeves a little bit more than I should, so -- I don't remember the situation,” Muschamp said. “I black out sometimes.”