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'Ideal fit': Auburn's Derrick Moncrief happy at linebacker
March 27, 2015

Derrick Moncrief making the move from safety to Auburn linebacker

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Derrick Moncrief says he likes the intensity that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and secondary coach Travaris Robinson have brought to Auburn.

"They're high-energy guys who are expecting great things," Moncrief said. "If you want to be a great player, you'll follow right in line with them."

That's why it was easy for Moncrief to slide over from safety in Auburn's old defense to outside linebacker in Muschamp's scheme of things. That's where Moncrief practiced through the first five days of Auburn spring football, and that's where he'll likely finish.

"Coach Muschamp told me he needed me to play SAM linebacker and it's an ideal fit for me."

Good enough, Moncrief figured, because Muschamp has "a great defensive mind."

He says he's learning his new position after playing safety and the old Star position in last year's defense. He started once and finished with 27 tackles, the 11th highest total on the team.

"It's about having patience with the position. I'm a football player, so I can adjust to anything," he said.

Moncrief says playing a true linebacker position is "a little different."

"Everything is going to be a little bit faster. You've got to be a little bit more physical...I love that, anyway."

Moncrief is one of five players who have ridden the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College pipeline to Auburn. The others are receiver Duke Williams, quarterback/receiver Jason Smith, defensive lineman Maurice Swain and walk-on punter Kevin Phillips.

They'll all be back for action when Auburn resumes spring practice Tuesday. So far, Moncrief said. "it's been intense because we're just trying to get everything down.

"It's starting to smooth out for me."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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