“The rookie linebacker’s working hard. It’s important to him,” Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said Tuesday. “Every minute he can get up here and watch film, he’s doing it. He wants to do well. And for me, that means a lot. Certainly, he’s young and learning and you can’t do all the things that you’d like to do. He’s not the only one.”
Holland will dress today for emergency purposes – think “break glass in case of emergency” – if McKinzy goes down, according to a source. Senior Ashton Richardson is also available. Holland went through drills this week, but did not practice in full, per linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen.
McKinzy made 12 tackles and forced a key fumble in his first start at Vanderbilt, amidst what the coaches identified as multiple mental errors. McKinzy was a four-star commitment last year out of Birmingham, and projects as a better fit in the middle of Auburn’s offense against traditional pro-style attacks like Georgia’s.
“They’re not very complicated. They don’t move around much. They’re good at what they do – they line up, two backs and a tight end, and use their skills the best way they can, just like an LSU or South Carolina,” Thigpen said. “This is (McKinzy’s) type of football game. It’s typical, SEC football. Football at its best.”