Auburn football linebacker Eugene Asante goes in-depth on DJ Durkin's defense

Eugene Asante and other members of the Auburn football program endorse DJ Durkin's message of aggression on the defense.
Oct 28, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA;  Auburn Tigers linebacker Eugene Asante (9) chases down
Oct 28, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers linebacker Eugene Asante (9) chases down / John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Since arriving on the Plains earlier this year, new Auburn football defensive coordinator DJ Durkin has emphasized that he wants an aggressive defense. During spring practice, Durkin said he was focused on the effort of the defense, and how they approach every play, every tackle.

Despite a controversial past, Durkin has impressed the Auburn football players so far, with linebacker Austin Keys describing him as a great football coach and someone who is able to 'switch it off' and become approachable off the field, which Keys says they did not have last season.

Transfer defensive lineman Trill Carter, who arrived on the Plains in time to participate in spring practice, appreciates the freedom and versatility of Durkin's schemes, which allow him to play multiple roles. The freedom of play is also endorsed by new defensive line coach Vontrell King-Williams, who said that while last year's scheme was solid, this year's scheme is 'really, really good.'

Returning linebacker Eugene Asante, one of the vocal leaders on the team, is excited about the new level of aggression Durkin is bringing to the defense, per Auburn Rivals.

“Coach Durkin is a great addition to the staff, he’s a brilliant defensive mind. Certainly somebody that brings energy and intensity every single day,” said Asante. “It just means being violent in everything we do whether it’s block destruction; whether it’s finishing on the ball carrier. It also applies to DBs in terms of violent finish on the football.

“Aggressive is a great word that we attest to Coach Durkin and it’s certainly something he’s trying to implement in every facet of the game. It’s not just a linebacker on a ball carrier, it’s aggressive in all different styles and ways. Aggressive shots on the ball when the running back is running the ball and the ball is loose. All those things are being applied and all those things are going to correlate in order for us to be a great defense.”

DJ Durkin is entering his first season with Auburn football after coaching at Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Maryland, Michigan, Florida, and other programs.