Auburn Football: 5 Tigers to Watch vs Louisiana Tech

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Sep 18, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Charles Jones (24) tries to run by Auburn Tigers defensive back Joshua Holsey (15) during first-half action at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

#15 Joshua Holsey, 5-foot-11, 192 pounds, Junior, Safety

He wasn’t even supposed to start last week against Kansas State, but when Joshua Holsey was forced into action mid-week after senior starter Jermaine Whitehead was unexpectedly suspended, Holsey was ready. He made 11 tackles against the Wildcats and earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts.

It wasn’t exactly beginners luck. Holsey started six games at safety and recorded 30 tackles in 2013 before a torn ACL ended his season. After a speedy recovery allowed Holsey to participate in spring practice, the junior moved to cornerback. However, the junior was needed at safety last week in Manhattan, and it worked out very well for the Tigers, who limited K-State to 285 yards of total offense, including just 40 rushing yards.

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“I remember back in the spring, I only had a day to prepare for the spring game. It wasn’t that much different, expect it wasn’t a spring game, it was Kansas State on the road. I had my mind right and was prepared to do it,” Holsey told 247Sports this week. “I didn’t even know I had that many tackles at the end of the game. I was just focused on doing my job and coming out with the ‘W’. I wasn’t worried about me as an individual.”

“I thought he did a good, solid job,” Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said Sunday during his weekly media appearance. “It was a tough move for him. It was done during the week and he didn’t have but a half of a practice and another small practice.”

Regardless of the time he has or hasn’t spent practicing at safety, Holsey proved he was capable of handling the responsibilities of the position. With Whitehead still suspended, and not even expected to be on the sidelines Saturday, Holsey will handle the starting role again. He may not win the league’s player of the week award again this week, but he will continue to fly to the ball and make sure tackles.