Auburn football’s DC Derek Mason says Smoke Monday will lead group

Auburn footballMandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn footballMandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

Auburn football’s defensive coordinator Derek Mason was an early addition to the inaugural staff of head coach Bryan Harsin, landing on the Plains after serving as Vanderbilt’s head coach for seven years. Today Mason held his first press conference as Auburn’s DC, and he described the first few months on the Plains as “fast and furious.”

Mason was sure that he would be headed to the bright lights of the NFL after his seven-year tenure at Vanderbilt, according to Nathan King via Twitter. Though he was contacted by college programs prior to taking the Auburn job, Mason made his decision with his wife based on his prior relationship with Coach Harsin and his own philosophical ideas.

Looking back, Mason said he would have made this decision 10 out of 10 times, which was partially because Bryan Harsin had such a powerful vision for the Tigers:

"“So, when we had an opportunity to talk, the conversation was very much to the point about his vision for Auburn. And that vision was set in stone, it was very strategic, it had all the making of what I thought a good leader should talk about coming into a situation like this.”"

When asked about the Tigers’ defense heading into the fall, Mason said there was no doubt that Smoke Monday will be a leader, and he talked up Monday’s communication skills on the practice field.

Mason went on to say that he believes that the group will be “pretty formidable” come fall, and their goal as a coaching staff right now is to mold the talent and work on the ability to play on multiple stages, whether it be collegiate or NFL.

Auburn football’s DC ended the press conference noting that he was excited to be at Auburn, on the Plains, and coaching the defense.

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