AUBURN, Ala. -- Joshua Holsey was developing into one of Auburn’s best cover corners last year as a true freshman. This year, depth issues have him starting at safety and playing some nickel on passing downs.
Holsey has played in every game the last two seasons.
No matter where he lines up, Holsey has become a key defender for the Tigers.
“He has been a big part of what we are doing; we are asking him to do a whole lot,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “...He is just a football player. He is very valuable to what we are doing. He is a real intelligent kid, too, and he has really good football instincts.”
For his part, Holsey is willing to do whatever it takes to help Auburn win.
“I could play linebacker as long as I'm on the field,” Holsey said. “It really doesn't matter. If they need me to go back and play corner, that's what I'll do.
“As long as I'm playing and contributing and helping the team, that's what I would do.”
Holsey was recruited to play cornerback at Auburn but the transition to safety has been an easy one because it’s the primary position he played in high school.
“I feel I’m doing good but always room for improvement,” he said. “Learning as I go from mistakes, little mistakes, doing the things that I do well and keep improving each and every week.
“I feel as a unit we’re doing good as well. I don’t want to take all the credit for myself; we’re doing a lot better than we did last year. We just got to keep improving each and every week.”
Auburn’s secondary received a big boost this week with the return of several key players including starting cornerback Chris Davis.
“Chris is a leader,” Holsey said. “Whenever Chris is on the field you get an extra spark on that island over there. You know that teams really don’t like to throw his way because he’s really a lockdown corner.”
A couple of other key defenders also returned this week in cornerback Jonathan Jones and defensive end Craig Sanders.
“We know we’ve been doing good as a defense but we haven’t really played a whole game with our whole defense really here,” Holsey said. “Seeing them back in action after missing a couple of weeks is really good.”
Holsey expects they’ll need all hands on deck to slow down an Ole Miss offense that’s averaging 418.8 total yards per game even after being shutout and held to 205 total yards against Alabama last Saturday.
“They're a really good offense,” he said. “They have a really good receiving corps, really fast running backs. They try to get a lot of East and West. They don't really like running North and South.
“Their offense is really similar to our offense, though, so we've really seen a lot of things they do on tape is the same thing our offense was doing in team camp and in the spring. We're going to be really prepared for what they come in here and try to do.”
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