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.”