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oakley crankcase Auburn's Montravius Adams ready to leap from raw talent to polished product as a sophomore Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams (1) works out during Auburn's first spring practice Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the Auburn Athletic Complex in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett/

-- The most impressive part of the potential Montravius Adams flashed as a freshman may be that he was essentially acting on instinct.A small-school product who was touted as a raw talent coming out of high school, Adams didn't have enough time to master the technique or the intricacies of the position. All he had was a natural ability for making plays.Another year under the tutelage of Rodney Garner could give Adams the tools he needs to unlock that potential. Working at defensive end this spring to shore up depth issues, Adams is expected to move back inside in August, and the 6-foot-4, 306-pounder will have a whole new set of tricks to use on SEC interior linemen."My speed off the ball, using my hands, just watching the guard, what he's looking at, watching his feet, where he's stepping," Adams said.Auburn's incredible depth at tackle has allowed Adams and Gabe Wright to take snaps at defensive end, spellingCarl LawsonandElijah DanielasLaDarius Owensrecovers from a broken foot and the Tigers' newcomers wait to arrive this summer."We ve actually got Montravius and Gabe working out at defensive end more as a necessity than as an evaluation," defensive coordinatorEllis Johnsonsaid."Both of them do some pretty impressive things out there, but we need their depth and rotation in the interior line, so I don t foresee that being permanent."Adams plays the 3-technique defensive tackle spot in Auburn's defense, meaning that he usually lines up on the shoulder of an interior player, rather than head up, and is tasked with getting penetration at the point of attack.Practicing at end gives Adams a new set of tools. On the outside, it's all about speed, moves and hand placement, qualities he can use once moves back inside and has to face heavier traffic and double teams."It helps me on my pass rush," Adams said. "If I can get past guys like Avery and Pat Miller, if I can get past them, it'll be a little easier when I go back into the (3-technique)."Adams started fast last season, coming away with a sack on the first snap of his career against Washington State and starting fast."Mont is a freaky athlete," his classmate, Carl Lawson, said.As the season progressed, though, Adams' production dropped, and he had just five tackles in Auburn's final six tackles.Playing at Dooly County High in Georgia hadn't prepared him for the leap and the grind of the SEC season.In part, the drop in production can be attributed to a lack of technique, increased attention, and it took some time for the freshman to adjust to Garner's coaching style."He coaches different from a lot of other coaches," Adams said. "He's very intense, and I wasn't ready for all that. Just learning how to deal with him and learning how to take his coaching and learning how to get his knowledge, that's something I'm really starting to get better at."Now, Adams knows exactly what Garner expects, and he's translating the coaching into production.And that means Adams could be a candidate to break out in his sophomore season after a 20-tackle, one-sack debut as a freshman."I'm just learning a lot," Adams said. "I came from a small school and coming here and being with one of the best coaches in the nation and being able to listen to him everything he says, I think I'm getting a lot better."

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