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Status of Auburn’s leading returning tackler ‘still up in the air’

Trevor Walls, Demetruce McNeal, Jake Holland AP

Whether or not new head coach Gus Malzahn has one of Auburn’s top returning defensive players at his disposal for the upcoming season apparently remains to be seen.

Safety Demetruce McNeal has missed the past handful of practices, including Saturday’s spring game, due to what’s only being described as personal reasons.  McNeal didn’t practice Tuesday and won’t tomorrow either for what will be the last of the Tigers’ 15 spring sessions.

According to Malzahn, whatever issues the player’s dealing with makes his future availability unknown.

That’s still up in the air,” Malzahn said when if McNeal would return. “He is on the team, but that’s still up in the air.”

Losing McNeal would be s significant blow to the defense in general and the secondary specifically.  McNeal is Auburn’s leading returning tackler (90) and in 2012 tied for the team lead in tackles for loss with seven.

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