Aug. 5, 2013
Kris Frost eyes more playing time in 2013 (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Occasional pilot-of-airplanes Kris Frost wants to be a full-time linebacker this season, and that's why he's looking at fall camp as the time to impress.
"It's definitely been the biggest camp for me so far, and being healthy and being able to do everything," he says. "It's real important for me to get those reps in every chance I get to really show what I have and to go out on every play."
Frost already has made one move in the Gus Malzahn head coaching era by going from outside linebacker to the inside, and he says he's been the only one who has worked at that position exclusively through the first three days of fall practice. That doesn't mean the job is his, however. Incumbent starter Jake Holland has practiced in the inside and outside as Auburn coaches, especially on defense, have cross-trained players at different positions.
Frost is a redshirt sophomore who missed his initial season after suffering an injury just as the first game was approaching. He's not that 210-pound signee now. He checks in at 244.
Holland was fifth on the team in tackles last season with 73. Frost had five working behind the departed Daren Bates. But Frost may be given a bigger responsibility this season. And, already, "we feel like we know everything a lot better than the spring."
The middle linebacker helps set the defense every play, so understanding roles is one of the requirements for the job.
That's why Frost says he's "studying. It's just like school."
Frost knows how about preparation. He has to do that, carefully, while flying planes while working on his pilot's license in the university's Professional Flight Management program.
Preparation for football may not be so different.
"It gets to the point where it's just repetition, going into the playbook and talking with other guys. And just polishing everything up and making sure you have the little things down pat and then the whole scheme of things start to mold together," Frost says.
Frost says the biggest transition will be "locating the ball and being able to do my job. And being able to make all the calls. Moving from Will (outside) last year to Mike (the inside) is a big responsibility."
Auburn is moving to Ellis Johnson 4-2-5 defense this season. "It's different," Frost says.
"There are so many moving parts and so many chances to move around and make a play it's great."
Holland is ticketed to be a factor either way.
"There's a lot of switching and coach wants us to know both positions," Frost said.
"The competition is making us better in every way. We've been really getting after it and really stepping up and making sure we know all the plays, and making sure we know all the hand signals and all the calls. We've been helping each other. At the same time, when it's time to play, when it's time to show what you can do, we've been really, really competing."
Frost agrees linebackers have a chip on their shoulder after last season, but "it's a chip on our shoulder in this team room. We have a lot to prove this year. We've got a lot to get done."
Charles Goldberg writes for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: