Aug. 5, 2014
Even a knee brace isn't slowing Joshua Holsey in Auburn's practices
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Joshua Holsey tested his knee — really tested his knee — during Auburn's first day in pads Tuesday, and he came out it of just fine.
"I still have some jitters in there, so I had to get them out of my system. I did a little tackling drill. It felt good."
And so it was that Holsey continued his comeback from a knee injury that knocked him out of last season in October, and so it was he continued his return from safety to cornerback, the position he played two years ago.
Holsey wasn't hurt making a tackle. It was a non-contact play.
"I just felt like it was meant to happen. If it happened like that, I felt like it was meant to happen. I couldn't really get down about it like I was before. I had a lot of positive people talk to me and tell me to just keep my head up. It was just a minor setback for something major to come. I just had to get the right mindset to come back.
"I feel like I'm back to my old self. I just have to make sure I'm careful, make sure I don't do anything crazy before the season starts. But I feel like I'm back."
The rehab and the practicing has worked. He'll be penciled in to replace the steady, and departed, Chris Davis.
"I know those are big shoes to fill, but I feel like I'm capable," Holsey said.
Holsey played cornerback as a freshman, safety as a sophomore and now cornerback again.
"We kind of went back and forth with it," said defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, before putting Holsey back at cornerback.
"He’ll know both the corner and the safety," said coach Gus Malzahn. "We’re just trying to think through the year. Last year, we had a lot of injuries on the backend. He didn’t go through spring, but he got a chance to watch. So we had him out there at corner, but he does understand the boundary safety very well."
Holsey's rehab was "like 2-3 times a day sometimes," he said, and that he stayed with it by "just staying dedicated because it's a long process and I knew it was going to take a long time to get back to where I needed to be."
Auburn played it safe in the spring, holding him out of the A-Day Game, just to be sure.
And that was after he departed last season after six games.
"It tore me apart," he said. "I felt real down for about a good week and a half or two knowing that I wouldn't be able to finish out the season. But as the season went on, I was just happy to be with my teammates and watch them do the things we did and finish the season as we did. It was a bad thing not being able to play, but just being able to be around my teammates was still a good thing."
Now, in a new season, Holsey likes what he sees.
"I see a great defense in the making. All we have to do is keep the right mindset and just keep coming to practice every day to work hard," he said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: