Aug 14, 2013
Robenson Therezie appears to have found a home at the star position
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - For>Robenson Therezie, almost nothing has gone the way he expected when he signed with Auburn out of Miami in 2011.
Therezie was one of the South's top defensive back prospects, choosing Auburn over Alabama, Florida, Miami and Tennessee. His plan was to be a starting cornerback as a freshman, to help Auburn win championships and go on to the NFL.
There were times in his first two Auburn seasons when it seemed it might happen. As a freshman, he played sparingly but moved into the starting lineup for Auburn's Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Virginia. He was running first team the following summer, but an injury set him back.
As the season started, Therezie and secondary coach Willie Martinez clashed. Before Auburn played Mississippi State in the second game of the season, news broke that Therezie had moved to running back. He vowed that is where he would stay, but by season's end, he was a role a player in Brian VanGorder's defense again.
With the previous staff gone in wake of a 3-9 season, Therezie started the spring competing for playing time at cornerback, but midway through he moved to the hybrid star position in defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson's scheme. And a light came on.
"We move him up to Star and all of a sudden we're blitzing him off the edge and he's covering underneath instead of deep zones," Johnson said. "The things you see with your eyes, the techniques, the reads and reactions, are different. He's a speed player. He's a contact player. I'm tickled to death with his progress."
Therezie is playing behind Justin Garrett, his friend and roommate. With Garrett nursing a foot injury, Therezie has been getting the first-team snaps in recent days. Johnson says there will be plenty of opportunity for both Therezie and Garrett to make impacts.
"Therezie and Garrett, I don't know how many more talented kids there are on our football team," Johnson said.
Charlie Harbison, who coaches the safeties and stars, enthusiastically agrees.
"He's a great talent, great speed, great athlete," Harbison said. "He has to stay with that uncommon focus. You focus one play at a time and good things will happen."
There are numerous packages, Johnson says, that will put Garrett and Therezie on the field together. Garrett welcomes that possibility.
"Therezie is the most athletic guy on the team," Garrett says. "That man can run, jump and do everything. We are roommates and we have the same motor. Neither one of us has really gotten the opportunity to play, so we both play fast and relentless every chance we get."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: