According to media reports, J.T. Surratt and Jonathan Walton will play against Auburn tomorrow and Bryson Allen-Williams will play DE in an attempt to generate some pass rush against the Tigers.
For Surratt, how can you not admire his guts? The fifth year Senior, team captain and our only returning DL starter from '13, was listed as doubtful for Auburn after injuring his hamstring in the Furman game. This news prompted a heavy, collective groan from throughout the Cockasphere; after all, despite all the eye-candy in the Auburn offense, we all know what AU Coach Gus Malzahn really plans to do is run the rock right down our throat. Having Surratt on the bench would just make that job easier for Malzahn.
Still, it looks like J.T. had decent practice time Wednesday and Thursday. If things go well today, then we should look forward to him seeing significant p.t. at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Will he start, though? That will likely be a game-time decision. Will he be effective? That remains to be seen, too.
Hammies are notoriously dodgy injuries: they don't seem to heal in any sort of orderly fashion. Still, with the state of our DL play, J.T. can't make it any worse. I hope that seeing him suited up won't take the pressure off guys like Sr. Phillip Dukes, Sophs. Abu Lamin and Kelsey Griffin, and Fr. Taylor Stallworth from taking their game up a notch. In other good news, we do expect RS Fr. David Johnson to return to active duty after missing three weeks for a knee injury.
As for Jonathan Walton, this is good news too. We're going to need every LB ready to go against Auburn.
I think we suspected that this might be the position where BAW ended up during his playing days at Carolina, depending on how much weight and upper body strength he added. But did anyone see this coming during his freshman year? I didn't. I am unsure if he will be effective as an everydown DE playing with his hand on the ground or not, but there is no denying his talent.
Now that BAW seems past his concussion from the UK game, it makes a much sense to see if this immensely talented athlete will be the spark we need to generate some pass rush against Nick Marshall and crew. Like Surratt, he can't make the DL any worse giving him a shot.
To answer the question I posed in the header, I'm not sure if its genius or desperation - or both - to move BAW to DE, however. I think moving Brison Williams back to CB from S has not been to our advantage. But at this point, against Auburn, what do we have to lose experimenting with Allen-Williams?