August 20, 2013

Imbalancing act

AUBURN | When Ellis Johnson first mentioned Monday night that "Jonathan" had been moved to cornerback, my curiosity was piqued.

Who is Jonathan?

"The running back, Ford," Johnson said. "They've got so many nicknames for him -- I couldn't remember who he was. Rudy. They call him 'Rudy'."

And so it is that Rudy Ford, one of the team's fastest and intriguing offensive players, now will spend his days matriculating on the other side of the ball. He played cornerback in high school, was wooed as a cornerback by several programs and coaches believe he has enough quick-twitch ability to contribute there sooner rather than later.

The move makes sense from an Auburn perspective. The team's top backup cornerback, Jonathan Jones, slipped on a wet surface Sunday night and suffered a broken ankle. Depth at both safety and cornerback have been compromised during the past few days -- incumbent boundary safety Demetruce McNeal was dismissed Sunday afternoon -- and the reclamation of Kiehl Frazier simply wasn't enough to assuage the issue.

Will Ford stick at cornerback?

It's unclear. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has gushed about the freshman's progress at both running back spots this fall and didn't hold back Monday night.

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