April 11, 2009

McNeil injury shakes up secondary

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof has been asked several times this spring to point out standouts.

When he has obliged, safeties Zac Etheridge and Mike McNeil have often headed the list along with linebacker Craig Stevens.

Roof also said the Tigers have depth at the position. That's a dramatic improvement from last year when it seemed Etheridge and McNeil never came off the field.

In light of the apparently serious leg injury McNeil sustained during Saturday's scrimmage, it's a good thing the Tigers have that depth.

Safeties coach Tommy Thigpen said Mike Slade stepped in and played admirably for McNeil. With Etheridge still out of contact drills, that left a starting safety unit of Slade and Christian Thompson.

"Somebody has to grow up really fast," Thigpen said.

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