Auburn’s starting safeties from last year are gone. Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas both left for the NFL after their senior seasons.
Auburn and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele now turn to two new safeties: Jamien Sherwood and Smoke Monday, both of whom will be going into their junior years.
Through two seasons, Sherwood has more experience, totaling 65 tackles to go along with an interception.
On the other hand, Monday has 34 tackles and two interceptions, including a pick-six in the 2019 Iron Bowl.
While Sherwood is the more experienced player, it’s Monday that’s the safety X-Factor for Auburn in 2020.
In the limited action he’s seen, Monday has been an explosive player for Auburn.
At times out of control, being ejected for targeting against Kent State, but an explosive player that can make big-time plays for an inexperienced defense this season.
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Behind Sherwood and Monday will likely be a combination of Jaylin Simpson, Zion Puckett, Chris Thompson Jr., Ladarius Tennison and Matthew Hill, who might move over from wide receiver, according to Gus Malzahn.
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