Last season, the Auburn football linebacker corps was led by the talent of senior and two-time team captain Owen Pappoe. This season, the Tigers return several LBs but also have plenty of new faces in position group, mostly from the transfer portal.
Auburn football linebackers coach Josh Aldridge has said he wants to have a lot of depth at the position, which meant lots of work during the offseason. The Tigers’ new defense will lean heavily on linebackers, which means a high level of competition during fall camp.
One linebacker receiving some buzz in the midst of fall camp is UNC transfer Eugene Asante. The LB arrived on the Plains ahead of the 2022 season, and appeared in the first four games for the Tigers but never really broke into the rotation due to personal struggles he faced last year.
Now, Asante is back and ready to make an impact for Auburn football. The Tigers’ linebackers coach Josh Aldridge praised Asante for his work ethic in the weight room, and told Auburn Undercover that Asante makes the other linebackers better:
"“He’s really what we like at a will linebacker that can cover and do multiple things. He’s not the longest guy, but he’s big enough. He just doesn’t have a bad day in terms of his attitude, ever. He plays the next play when he screws up. I think he’s made those guys around him better. Because Eugene brings it every single day, those guys have no choice but to bring it every single day too. It has been a really good domino effect with Eugene.”"
Aldridge is looking for versatility in his linebackers ahead of the 2023 season, and called out Asante and Ole Miss transfer Austin Keys as guys who are not “one trick ponies.” With Ron Roberts’ ambitious defensive plans, having dynamic linebackers will be key for Auburn football this fall.