It’s always good when a player on any team–whether it be on a low-level Division III school or a Power 5 national powerhouse like Auburn football–heaps praise on someone paid to mentor and develop the aforementioned player.
Defensive lineman Jaren Handy doesn’t directly work with cornerbacks coach Zac Etheridge, but that didn’t stop him from calling him a real one:
Few of the real ones I’ve ever held a conversation with tbh! https://t.co/k48k4tTcb5
— Alm!ghty Turbo™️‼️ (@Jarenhandy2) February 22, 2021
It’s good to see this level of synergy within a college football program that had somewhat of a down year in 2020 and is now undergoing one of the biggest personnel makeovers in Division I FBS.
Etheridge was hired on January 8th after Wesley McGriff was not retained and later joined Dan Mullen’s staff at the University of Florida Gators in Gainesville. Etheridge had spent the last two seasons in the AAC with the University of Houston Cougars as their CB coach.
His stint playing for the Tigers resulted in the team’s only title in the 21st century in his senior year as part of the Cam Newton-led squad that downed Oregon in the BCS National Championship game.
As head coach Bryan Harsin said when he hired Etheridge, the former safety’s winning history on the Plains will aid him in his new role going forward:
“Zac Etheridge is a rising star in this profession and is a great addition to (new defensive coordinator) Coach (Derek) Mason’s defense working with cornerbacks,” Harsin said. “He has done a fantastic job in a short period of time developing and recruiting talented players. As a former Auburn standout, Zac understands the rigors of competing at the highest level, and what is required to be an Auburn man.”
It will be exciting to see if Etheridge can bring that same winning mentality to his new position with Auburn football when the Tigers take the field at Jordan-Hare this fall, but in landing Miller today and Juwon Gatson on National Signing Day, the wins have already begun occurring in the recruiting department.