Skip to main content Skip to footer
Kris Frost, Cassanova McKinzy a hit as Auburn linebackers
Sept. 16, 2014

Rain or shine, it's been a good start for Auburn's Kris Frost

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Ellis Johnson was bragging on his starting linebackers the other day.
Kris Frost, who happens to be one of the starting linebackers, had to like that. Frost and Cassanova McKinzy have played well enough in the first two games that Johnson, Auburn's defensive coordinator, has mostly left them on the field in key situations rather than rotating his linebackers like last season.
It'll be Frost and McKinzy in the starting lineup against Kansas State at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, too.
"It's great to be able to play the whole game and not have any issues," Frost said. "We all make mistakes from time to time over the course of the game, but knowing that we're the guys is really good.
"We feel like we have a great supporting cast behind us and we know that we have guys that can come in and fill for in for us whenever we need. So, that also makes us feel more comfortable, opposed from the fact of us thinking if we mess up we have people come in for us. We think of it as a support factor. They'll put guys in if they can't get the word out on a certain play to us on the field.
"When we come on the sideline, they'll let us know. It's all collectively about the team and it's all about winning games and making sure Auburn is back at the top."
Johnson said Frost and McKinzy have "been productive."
"They’ve made some tackles and made some plays. I’d like for them to be a little more consistent. They seem to be getting that way each week," Johnson said.
"Last year, it was kind of linebacker by committee. This year, it’s more two starters with backups coming in. I felt more comfortable leaving the starters in there."
McKinzy, Auburn's leading tackler last season, is up to his old tricks. He led the Tigers with 10 tackles last time out against San Jose State, and has a team-high 16 through two games. Frost has six tackles.
The defense has been solid enough. It has allowed three second-half points, total, in a 45-21 win over Arkansas or a 59-13 win over San Jose State. 
Most defenses rely on three starting linebackers. Auburn relies on only two in its 4-2-5 formation. Enter Frost and McKinzy, football players and friends for three Auburn seasons.
"I felt like we had a really, really good communication on the field, off the field," Frost said. "We're great friends. I feel like it just helps. Not just me and him, other linebackers like (Anthony) Swain, JaViere Mitchell and Kenny Flowers. We bond together off the field and it really shows on the field, so when those guys do come into the game, we don't miss a beat. That's what we're focused on. 
"As far as me and Cass is concerned, we do a great job communicating, we do a great job showing each other things and making sure we get our point across on the practice. I feel like it's important because it shows on the field."
Kansas State will present a different challenge with running/throwing quarterback Jake Waters.
"Just being a dual-threat and how smart he is as a player," said Frost of Waters' abilities. "It's really all the ways he can beat you throwing as well as on his feet. They have a lot of great receivers, and you can tell that they're really disciplined as a team. We've really compared them to ourselves as far as how disciplined they are and all the threats that they pose. We're going to have our hands full, but we've prepared well, and we're ready."

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



Buy Tickets

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE! is your home for buying tickets to Auburn athletic events.

Auburn Tigers
Official Store


Shop for your favorite items at the Auburn Tigers Official Online Store.

Tigers Unlimited, Join Today! Click for more information