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March 28, 2011

Neiko Thorpe all smiles after move to safety

Auburn’s back at practice today. We’ll have a post-practice update in the afternoon. To get you through the morning, here’s how today’s story about cornerback-turned-safety Neiko Thorpe starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — T’Sharvan Bell doesn’t need to ask fellow Auburn secondary member Neiko Thorpe if he is enjoying his move from cornerback to safety this spring.

He can see it.

“Every time I see him, I can see all 32 of his teeth back there,” Bell said.

It’s the biggest move of the spring: Thorpe, the team’s most experienced cornerback, with 27 career starts on his résumé, will play safety as a senior, a move coaches say will better showcase his skills.

At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Thorpe is tall and rangy. He’s also made 175 tackles in his career, either a sign of his nose for the ball or, as many Auburn fans were quick to point out last season, an indictment of his occasionally-lacking coverage skills.

“I think Neiko’s best position is safety,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “I think he’s a much better safety than he is a corner.”

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  1. I really like the move to safety for Thorpe. His only problem at corner was recognition of the play as it unfolds, at the safety position, he has a lot more time to recognize what is happening, and react.
    Plus his open field tackling is really good. Just go back and watch the Outback Bowl tapes keeping an eye on Thorpe, you will be impressed.

    Comment by KoolBell4AU — March 28, 2011 @ 10:28 am

  2. Teams also liked to pick on Thorpe a lot. He had a harder job that anyone on the field and he played masterfully most of the time. Problem was, they were waiting for him to make mistakes and he did from time to time.

    At safety, they can’t pick on him. He should thrive there.

    Comment by JohnnyAuburn — March 28, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

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