K.J. Britt has missed all of Auburn’s spring practices with a right leg injury, but his position coach sees a bright future upon the true freshman’s return.
“I’m excited to get my hands on him, see him run around and see him hit people,” said Auburn linebackers coach Travis Williams. “One thing we know, we know he can hit. Just got to get him in and get him into the fastball of the college ball, SEC ball.
“Once he gets healthy, we’re looking (at) him more like an inside linebacker, Mike ‘backer for us. He could be a guy that could quarterback the defense because he’s smart and does some things. He’s got really good short-area quickness, and we’ll just see his growth, see how fast he can grow, and see where it leads from there.”
Britt was one of Auburn’s top prospects in the 2017 recruiting cycle. The consensus four-star prospect was ranked as the nation’s No. 31 inside linebacker in the 247Sports Composite. As a senior at Oxford last fall he racked up 124 tackles, including 17 for loss and five sacks.
After graduating early from high school, Britt took part in two Auburn practices last December before the team departed for New Orleans to play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. His undisclosed injury occurred sometime between then and Feb. 28, when head coach Gus Malzahn opened spring practice and announced Britt would be sidelined until at least fall camp.
Despite his injury, Williams says the 6-foot, 235-pounder is soaking up all he can this spring as he learns a new system.
“It’s huge for him, even though he’s not getting the physical reps, he could get the mental reps,” Williams said. “He’s a smart kid, and he’s picking up the system. He’s doing board work and different things like that.
“He has an advantage just being in the meetings. He’s going to have six months before the other guys get here. He’ll be able to learn the defense, sit in every meeting. As far as when he returns, I leave that up to the doctors. I don’t know. But he’s a smart, smart kid.”
In addition to Britt, Auburn signed linebackers Chandler Wooten and T.D. Moultry in the 2017 recruiting cycle. Wooten is already enrolled on campus while Moultry is expected to arrive this summer.