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A Star is Born for the Auburn Defense

By on October 9th, 2013 in Football 6 Comments »

Some said he was a natural, others expected big things from the Super Prep Star All-American – yet for what ever reason his time never seem to come during his first two years in college. A four star Running back /Safety out of Miami’s Jackson High School, he signed with Auburn over offers from Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Florida State, and Miami.

Rated as the No. 5 safety in the nation, the No. 22 recruit from Florida and the No.110 player overall nationally by 247Sports, he also earned Under Armour All-America honors as a senior. As a junior he totaled 81 tackles with four interceptions with two forced fumbles, rushed for 279 yards and had 239 receiving yards. In his sophomore (first) year playing defense, he had 81 total tackles, nine forced fumbles and three interceptions.

At 5’9″ he may seem small for his position but his 205 lbs. pack a big wallop. Nigel Dunn, his high school coach said he tried to tell recruiters that Robenson Therezie was an impact player, and not just at covering defenders.

“In my (26) years of coaching I’ve never met a person that tackled with so much impact. The way the young man tackled scared me. A lot of people said we’ll put him at corner, and I was like, ‘You guys are crazy.’ Sure he’s fast and he can cover, but I want a kid like that who can tackle.”

Before the college football season began, many sports outlets talked about possible impact players for different teams. We here at TET are no different. This writer in particular proffered a list of potential break out stars for Auburn on both offense and defense.

After the season is underway, it’s always interesting to see which of those pre season choices are having an impact or if maybe a new name emerges. Well Robenson Therezie has become the Tigers biggest breakout performer – yet I dare say he was at the top of any one’s list in the pre-season.

He’s a guy that despite being highly recruited, found himself relegated to special teams his first year and buried on the depth chart his sophomore season.

The High School All American couldn’t seem to get a break. He shined during spring and fall camps under the new coaching regime only to be listed as second string going into the 2013 year.

Although he had impressed his new coaches, Therezie still found himself behind Justin Garrett for Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson‘s Safety-Star position. Then as every Auburn fan knows, Garrett was sidelined before the first game with a foot injury.

Robenson seized the opportunity with the speed and dedication that have since made him a feared competitor for the Tiger Defense. Combining speed with physical strength, he’s one of those players that seems to have an instinct for making big plays.

In his first game he had seven tackles, two interceptions, and  was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week as well as receiving National honors with the Jim Thorpe Defensive Player of the Week Award. One of those picks came in the endzone with 4:46 remaining to help seal the Tigers victory over Washington State.

A breakout player is not just one that has a big moment though. In every game since the WASU victory he’s continued that level of play.

After five games he has two tackles for a loss, one pass breakup, one quarterback hurry, is the leading tackler on the team (28) and leads the SEC with 3 interceptions. Saturday night he became the first defender to intercept a Bo Wallace pass returning it for a 78 yard touchdown, providing a big momentum shift in the Ole Miss game.

So far it’s been an almost unbelievable performance from a guy that saw only limited playing time last season. In fact every game it’s looking more and more like a star has been born for the Auburn Defense.


  1. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    It’s incredible that a back up at the start of the season, could end up winning the Thorpe Award. It is a possibility. That would be Auburn’s second and both have ties to Chizik.

    It would also be a great inspiration to every back up to be ready every play. Because you may be called upon at a moments notice. Enjoyed the read ATM, you never fail to deliver.


    • DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

      Agreed, always enjoy the Tigerman’s articles.
      Man Therezie has been fun to watch. One thing I don’t understand with this story though is how could this kind of talent get buried on the depth chart?

      • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

        Different set of coaches see different things. Just like Urban Meyer didn’t see Cam Newton as a quarterback and wanted him to play tight end. Here’s to hoping Therezie continues to be an impact player.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Therezie was a starting cornerback in the 2012 A-Day game, and I remember remarking to AubTigerman that day how athletic he looked. It was mystifying watching him disappear off the depth chart by the time the season started.

  3. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Lot’s of guys like Therezie get overlooked simply because they don’t fit the stereotypical mold for the position they are playing. Just think of the wasted talent.

  4. sparkey sparkey says:

    You guys are giving the old regime a pass. The truth is that the coaches played favorites. They didn’t play others based on merit they played them based on favorites. I think JJ was a major factor in this. The fact that certain individuals (Tim Jackson) are still around the program troubles me indeed.

    Regardless, this kid will be something special on the Plains. We’ve got a whole set of kids that are going to be something before they’re done here. I’m incredibly excited about their potential and this time I think we’ve got the people we need to turn that potential into results on the field.