Pritchett, Simpson are ‘next level’ according to Zac Ethridge

·2 min read

Auburn corner backs Nehemiah Pritchett and Jaylin Simpson matched each other step for step last season. Each made 27 total stops, and both recorded an interception each.

This season, they plan on taking their performance a step further, and are working hard in preseason camp to do so says secondary coach Zac Etheridge.

During his meeting with the media Thursday, Etheridge took time to speak about Pritchett and Simpson’s work ethic as the Tigers continue to prepare for the 2022 season.

“I think Nehemiah (Pritchett) and Jaylen (Simpson) have taken their game to a new level. I have been really impressed with their work ethic, the way they attack practice every day. They set the bar high in terms of what it is supposed to look like,” Etheridge said. “You count on leaders that have played a lot of ball like those guys to bring these young guys behind them. They are setting the example. Every day they come out and put the work in. They get to the ball; they communicate and make plays.”

Etheridge also added praise for safety Zion Puckett. Puckett recorded 48 tackles last season, which is third-best among returning players. Etheridge says that Puckett will be one of Auburn’s leaders on defense this season.

“(Puckett is) a silent assassin, but he’s probably the smartest guy in the room in terms of football IQ. Guys trust him,” Etheridge said. “He’s going to get them lined up in the right spot. I trust him making the right checks and communication. He’s been working his tail off from a physical standpoint.”

Pritchett, Simpson, and Puckett join a solid list of returning players on defense. Joining those three are EDGE Derick Hall, DE Colby Wooden, and LB Owen Pappoe.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire