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Nick Coe the "Greek god"


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Auburn expects 'Greek god' Nick Coe to have 'major impact' on defense

Auburn defensive lineman Nick Coe (91) works out Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, during Sugar Bowl practice in New Orleans, La. Auburn will take on Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, 2017. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com)
Auburn defensive lineman Nick Coe (91) works out Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, during Sugar Bowl practice in New Orleans, La. Auburn will take on Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, 2017. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com) (JULIE BENNETT)

Nick Coe may not have a starting spot secured along Auburn's defensive line, but assistant coach Rodney Garner is certain the redshirt freshman will have a considerable role for the Tigers this fall.

"The kid is a very, very, very athletic intriguing kid that I would suspect can really have a major impact on us (this season)," Garner said Thursday before speaking to the Montgomery Auburn Club. "We're counting on him."

That's high praise from Garner for any player, let alone one who redshirted in 2016 and has yet to take a collegiate snap. It also speaks to the potential that Garner has seen from the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Coe since the Asheboro, N.C., native arrived on campus nearly one year ago.

Coe isn't necessarily your typical redshirt freshman, however.

After signing with Auburn as a four-star defensive end and having his enrollment delayed while working to become academically eligible, Coe arrived on campus last August for the start of fall camp and spent about "70 percent" of the time during the season working with the second-team defense behind Carl Lawson and Jeff Holland at Buck. The other 30 percent of the time, Coe worked with the scout team during the week, but he never saw the field in 2016.

That will change this fall, when Coe is a lock to factor into Garner's rotation along the defensive line. After opening the spring repping some at Buck, Coe spent much of spring practices working as the backup to sophomore Marlon Davidson at defensive end

Coe, who received praise from teammates during Auburn's preparation for the Sugar Bowl back in December, continued to impress during the spring despite being hampered early on by an undisclosed hamstring injury. He finished A-Day with four total tackles, including one for a loss of yardage.

Garner believes part of the issue with Coe's hamstring stems from the weight the defensive end has put on since arriving on campus and his body adjusting to the additional weight while running. When Coe -- a three-time national champion wrestler in high school in the 285-pound division -- enrolled, he was at 242 pounds but has since made it to 280 pounds this offseason, according to Garner.

"I mean, he looks great," Garner said. "He looks like a Greek god, but when you come in 240 to 280, you're talking about in the course of eight months? That's a lot. I'm sure that probably affected him with soft tissue-type injuries."

Auburn's official roster has Coe listed at 270 pounds. which is what Garner described as the ideal playing weight for the redshirt freshman.

"We could probably trim him down a little bit... but he can still run like a deer, and he's so athletic, so long, so powerful," Garner said.

While Coe has cemented himself as the No. 2 defensive end in the rotation behind Davidson, Auburn's coaches aren't painting him into a corner with his role. Garner believes Coe could play a variety of positions on Auburn's defensive line, depending on which package the team is fielding at a given time.

"He can play end, he can play Buck, he can also he could be like Marlon on the rabbits (and play tackle)," Garner said. "But he also can do it out there (and play in space), so it definitely gives you a lot of options."
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1 hour ago, corchjay said:

That is some mighty high praise coming from Coach G for a player that's never played a down.  

Exactly, so excited to see what Coe can do. He's got all the tools. Last time I can remember Garner being so positive about a redshirt freshman was Dontavius Russell who is a very reliable starter for us in his own right. 

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