Auburn confident T.D. Moultry can be its next top pass rusher

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Auburn confident T.D. Moultry can be its next top pass rusher

Auburn believes it has its next pass rusher to torment opposing quarterbacks.

Sophomore T.D. Moultry spent the first four spring practices with the first-team defensive line and will likely be the successor to Jeff Holland as Auburn's starting Buck end in the fall.

"We got T.D. replacing Jeff and I think he's just as solid," defensive tackle Derrick Brown said. "He's definitely stepped up and played big these (first) three days of practice. He's doing his job. You can't ask much more of a guy than that."

Moultry had 15 tackles with 2.5 for loss including 1.5 sacks as a true freshman last season and while it may seem daunting to expect him to replace Holland, you can look at the departing edge rusher's own career to see how production can jump.

Holland had 45 tackles with 13 for loss including 10 sacks and four forced fumbles last season, all huge increases from his 13 tackles with two for loss and one sack while he was behind Carl Lawson in 2016.

"He's definitely capable," Brown said of Moultry stepping in for Holland. "He's just getting to a point now where he's starting to hone in on his work and everything is becoming much more crucial to him. Every second you get a live down then every second counts to get to the quarterback."

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Moultry is only listed as a a few pounds lighter than Holland (249) and has even better athleticism and speed, according to coaches and teammates.

"If you see T.D. you'll pay attention to him practicing, he's a freak of nature," linebacker DeShaun Davis said. "Some of the things he do, he's going to bring another edge to our defense because of his abilities. He's a fast guy.

"He will allow us to leave the defensive end on the quarterback alone because he has the ability to put his foot in the ground and chase down the quarterback. We've seen him chase down Malik (Willis) a couple times already. His ability speaks for itself."

There are still 11 spring practices, the offseason and fall camp to go before any decisions are set, but Auburn is clearly confident in what Moultry brings to the field. He'll have to fend off Markaviest Bryant for reps as well.

"Everything is still a competition," Brown said. "I feel like nobody's safe going into all this. You got to compete now and the rest of the guys are here, even for me and (Dontavius Russell), competing now. You have one bad day and you could be looking at playing in the second team with (defensive line coach Rodney Garner). As y'all know, over time coach G has started a lot of people over a lot of different games."

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

from Auburn Sports Impact

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