The Best Front Seven in College Football (Part 4 of 5 Bucks)

July 20, 2018 By Skye Underwood

Auburn returning bucks, sophomores, Big Kat Bryant and TD Moultry

This is a five-part featured series on ‘The Best Front Seven in College Football’ as the 2018 season draws near. College football aficionado Skye Underwood has studied teams from across the country pouring over returning starters and experienced backups, depth charts, stats, film, potential NFL prospects, etc. to determine why he believes Auburn has ‘The Best Front Seven in College Football.’ Part 1: Introductory • Part 2: Defensive Tackles • Part 3: Defensive Ends • Part 4: Bucks • Part 5: Linebackers



Auburn buck T.D. Moultry plays on defense in the second half against Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 in Fayetteville, Ark. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

T.D. Moultry, Sophomore, Buck, (6-2, 245)

If you’re looking for a breakout star among the Tiger defensive front seven then look no further than Tadarian “T.D.” Moultry. The true-sophomore out of Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, AL was first thought destined to play inside ‘backer during his recruitment. In fact, 247Sports listed Moultry as a 5-star and the #1 inside linebacker in the entire country in the 2016 class, but Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner had other ideas for the young stud. Once Moultry found his way to the plains he first practiced with Auburn linebacker coach Travis Williams’ linebacking corps, but then the coaches realized how fierce of a pass rusher Moultry is and of course Garner welcomed him with open arms to the defensive line room, and in hindsight, it was a perfect fit considering the circumstances. Jeff Holland was Auburn’s starting buck last season and led the SEC for the majority of the year in sacks. Auburn’s plan was to allow Moultry to be Holland’s backup/understudy in case Holland decided to skip his senior year and declare for the NFL Draft. Holland took Moultry under his wing for a season in hopes of passing down the wisdom that he had learned from Carl Lawson now with the Benglas and Auburn’s previous starter at buck. As the 2017 season evolved, Moultry started receiving more and more playing time and he took advantage of it. T.D.’s true-freshman numbers definitely don’t jump off the stat sheet after totaling 15 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks, but you have to remember that he was backing up a 1st team All-SEC edge defender. As many already know, Holland is now turning heads with the Denver Broncos so it’s Moultry’s time to shine in 2018 as Auburn’s starting buck. Big Kat Bryant will give Moultry a fierce competition in fall camp, but Moultry is said to have the edge, though time will tell.


Markaviest ‘Big Kat’ Bryant earned ALL-SEC freshman team in 2017

Big Kat Bryant, Sophomore, Buck, (6-4, 254)

Hands down one of the best names in college football. Before Big Kat Bryant made the 2017 ALL-SEC freshmen team, he was a big-time recruit coming out of Crisp County High School in Cordele, Georgia, coveted by the likes of his home state Georgia Bulldogs, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, Yaw Yaw down on the bayou, just a whose who of coaches and programs that wanted Markaviest ‘Big Kat Bryant’ to come play football for their school. But Big Kat waited till signing day to announce his decision and in some what of a signing day surprise, he obviously chose the orange and blue. Bryant was rated as a 4-star by the 247Sports composite, and ESPN ranked him as the No. 9 defensive end in the country for the 2017 class. Big Kat was shredded as a prep but his body was lean tipping the scales at 226-pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame. Never fear, Coach Ryan Russell is here. The Auburn strength and conditioning coach developed a routine for the young bull and boy has it paid off — Big Kat has put on almost 30-pounds since his true-freshman season last year without losing a step in the speed department. Like Moultry, Bryant’s playing time increased as the 2017 season progressed and he took advantage of every limited snap by collecting 2.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks while earning freshmen ALL-SEC honors.. Big Kat’s second year on the plains is bound to be more explosive as the uber-talented defender continues to get stronger and faster. I foresee a 2018 season where TD Moultry and Big Kat Bryant share a lot of snaps with one another in an effort to always keep the other fresh. I expect the duo to bring the pain to SEC quarterbacks in 2018.


College Football’s Best Front Seven’

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Defensive Tackles

Part 3: Defensive Ends

Part 4: Bucks

Friday/Part 5: Linebackers