Auburn football: Look up definition of ‘Auburn man’, you’ll find these two Tigers

Deshaun Davis leads Auburn in tackles this season. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Deshaun Davis leads Auburn in tackles this season. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Every Auburn football team has at least one of them. You know the player you call a real Auburn man?

He’s the guy who doesn’t complain. He doesn’t make excuses. Team before self. He just goes out and does his job every day at practice and in every game. He motivates teammates.

You probably won’t find his name in a lot of headlines.

And that’s OK.

The Auburn football team has at least two of those players on this team. If you’re inside Jordan-Hare Stadium or watching the next game on TV, make it a point to watch these two guys on plays. Pause, rewind. More often than not, you’re going to like what you see.

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Of course, we’re talking about Deshaun Davis and Chandler Cox.

Davis arrived as part of the 2014 Auburn football recruiting class. He was a 3-star prospect from Vigor High School in Mobile. As a recruit, he was listed at 6-feet, 225 pounds. Considered slightly undersized even now (5-11, 233) for a middle linebacker, Davis is the heart and soul of the Auburn defense. He led the team in tackles in 2017 and leads the Tigers in 2018.

Other players on the Auburn defense might be considered better NFL prospects, but pound for pound no one outworks Davis and no one is more valuable to not just the defense, but the team as a whole. He’s right in the middle of the revitalization of the linebacker position on the Plains.

After Auburn lost last week to LSU and Davis (he had a team-high 13 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss) just missed deflecting what turned out to be a 71-yard TD pass, this is what the Auburn senior leader had to say:

"We’ve got to take the good from it, correct the bad and put it behind us. Go to practice and watch film tomorrow. Take the good from it, correct the bad and go to the next one."

Davis is all business. He wants to win. Auburn is lucky to have him.

auburn football
Chandler Cox is a bigger part of the offense than he’s ever been this season. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Cox came to Auburn as part of the 2015 recruiting class. He was a 4-star fullback from Apopka (Fla.) High School where he did a little bit of everything, including play quarterback.

At Auburn, he’s been asked to do a lot. Block, catch, occasionally run, run out of the CoxCat and occasionally pass out of the formation. It hasn’t always worked out, but it shows a lot that the coaches have that amount of faith in the senior H-back.

Cox had 23 career touches entering this season — 15 passes and eight runs — as well as two pass attempts. This season, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey has called Cox’s number more frequently.

Cox has seven receptions (one short of his career-best) and 72 yards (eight yards of his career-best) in the first three games of the season. He’s been a reliable third-down target for Jarrett Stidham and a sure-handed receiver throughout his career.

But most of what Cox does isn’t on the stat sheet.

He’s keeping blitzing linebackers and safeties off of Stidham. He’s creating creases for JaTarvious Whitlow, Kam Martin and Shaun Shivers to run through.

And he’s loving every minute of it.

What did he say about LSU beating Auburn?

"We’ll learn from it. It’s like life. You get knocked down, but you have to keep going. Tomorrow we’re going to flush it, and move onto Arkansas."

Next. What Auburn can do to shake up the offense. dark

Exactly what you want from one of your on-the-field and locker room leaders.

If Auburn is going to bounce back from the loss last week and make a run at getting to Atlanta or even the College Football Playoff, these two guys will be instrumental in the process.

So when you’re watching Saturday, take a moment to appreciate what Davis and Cox do on the field.

They’re true Auburn men, after all.