Auburn football: LB Zakoby McClain talks T-Will and new coaches

Auburn footballMandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn footballMandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Auburn football’s Zakoby McClain has one year left on the Plains and he intends to make it the best one yet despite the coaching changes that shook up the program at the end of the 2020 season. Former linebackers coach Travis Williams landed in Orlando at UCF with former head coach Gus Malzahn and was replaced by two linebackers coaches under Bryan Harsin.

McClain led the Southeastern Conference in tackles last season and tied for the national lead, yet he received no post-season SEC honors. The linebacker totaled 113 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in the 2020 season.

According to 247 Sports McClain felt slighted, but it really is only pushing him to work harder heading into the fall:

"“It hurt a little they didn’t give me any award last year,  but it just gives me more motivation,” he said. “I have got a chip on my shoulder to just keep going harder and harder.“I am going to try to make more plays and be a better leader,” he said."

McClain is staying true to his word, already earning the Iron Men of the Week honor from Auburn Strength and proving his leadership in the weight room.

Losing his former position coach, Travis Williams, was tough for McClain, who said he would miss playing for T-Will. But he described new position coach, Jeff Schmedding, as “cool–he’s like a fundamental, a lot of technique and stuff.”

McClain went on to tell 247 Sports that there is a heavy emphasis on the weight room in preparation for spring workouts and the upcoming season.

"“Oh yeah, they got us big in the weight room,” he noted. “They got us doing a lot of stuff in the weight room making sure we are getting right so we are game-ready and stuff.”"

He also noted that he feels as though the linebackers are getting more freedom under new defensive coordinator Derek Mason and that they are ultimately going to have the ability to make more plays by moving between run gaps.

A good Auburn defense means a better chance that there is a good Auburn football team, so we’re liking what we’re hearing from Zakoby McClain. For now, the Tigers will be focusing on the rest of spring practices leading up to April’s annual A-Day game.

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