Pressure defense: Auburn's Ken Carter ready to help

Aug. 1, 2013

KenCarter

Ken Carter will be looking for more hits when Auburn's fall practice opens Friday (Lauren Barnard photo)

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. -- Ken Carter has played 29 games over the last three seasons at defensive tackle. He'll open fall practice Friday as a defensive end. 

Welcome to Auburn, where new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has brought in his 4-2-5 defense and moved his players around with the intent of finding more interceptions and sacks. 

The Tigers were lacking in both departments last season, so Carter was moved from defensive tackle to defensive end in the spring. Will he stay there? He just wants to play. 

"I'm whatever they want me to be right now," Carter says. "Right now, I'm at defensive end. I'm going to make the best of everything. 

"I'm very excited. I've been dedicated." 

Auburn figures it has an established pass rusher in Dee Ford, but Johnson says one isn't enough. Enter Carter? 

"If you only have one, they can pick on him," Johnson said over the summer. "We certainly need one to develop on the opposite side, and we need our tackles to become pass rushers, too. 

"I don't know if we can generate a dynamic pass rush without blitzing." 

The competition at defensive end will be interesting. The Tigers must replace their only drafted player -- DE Corey Lemonier -- and spring practice ended with a nebulous depth chart of ands-and-ors that had Ford backed up by Craig Sanders at one spot; and Carter and Nosa Eguae at the other. But two of Auburn's high-profile recruits -- Carl Lawson and Elijah Daniel -- are defensive ends, and they impressed during summer workouts. 

"They have great skill. They have potential to be some of the best players coming through Auburn," Carter said. 

Craig Sanders, Keymiya Harrell and Justin DeLaine could be factors as well.

Carter says he'll welcome the help. 

"We're going to need pretty much everybody on the defensive line, a great rotation," he said.

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